After undergoing an MRI on his injured left ankle on Tuesday, Knicks center Luke Kornet has been diagnosed with an ankle sprain and a bone bruise, the team announced today (via Twitter). Kornet, who is in a walking boot, will began his rehab process immediately, according to the Knicks.
Although New York’s announcement indicates that Kornet will be re-evaluated this weekend, the second-year big man is unlikely to make a quick return from an ankle sprain and bone bruise. Head coach David Fizdale confirmed today that Kornet will likely be sidelined for at least a couple weeks, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic (Twitter link).
A week-to-week injury for a part-time center on a lottery-bound team isn’t earth-shattering news, but it figures to have an impact on a player whose name has frequently been mentioned in trade rumors as of late. Enes Kanter, who took over for Kornet when he first went down in Monday’s game, may return to the starting lineup in Kornet’s place, Fizdale said today.
The Knicks had originally planned to remove Kanter from their rotation as they took a longer look at Kornet and rookie center Mitchell Robinson, a scenario which prompted Kanter to hint that he might welcome a trade elsewhere. That trade chatter could die down a little if he’s back in the starting five, though I’d expect New York to continue exploring the market for potential deals involving the veteran.
The trade deadline is 16 days away, so if Kornet misses two weeks or more, the Knicks could continue to roll with Kanter as a starter right up until February 7.