Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Tuesday that Julius Randle continues to make “good, steady progress” in his recovery from a dislocated right shoulder, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv. One day later, speaking publicly on Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury, Randle told reporters that he’s feeling “better and stronger” than he was earlier in the month, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post.
However, neither Thibodeau nor Randle indicated that the possibility of season-ending surgery is off the table.
“I mean, we’ll see. There’s still necessary steps. It’s a process to everything. I have to weigh out everything ultimately and decide from there,” Randle said. “But right now I’m just focused on trying to avoid (surgery), obviously, and get back on the court as soon as I can.”
Even if Randle is able to return to action this season without undergoing surgery, it’s unclear if he’ll be able to avoid a procedure on the shoulder in the offseason, Botte writes.
“I’ve heard many different opinions. Both, so we’ll see,” Randle said when asked about that scenario. “I like how I feel today as far as getting better, feeling stronger, progressing to where I need to be, as far as getting on the court.”
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- While Randle’s recovery timeline remains very much up in the air, another injured Knicks forward – OG Anunoby – said on Tuesday that he “for sure” expects to return before the end of the regular season and be available for the playoffs, according to Botte. Anunoby, who underwent a procedure on his right elbow a couple weeks ago, is expected to be reevaluated around March 1 and to resume on-court activities not longer after that, a league source tells Fred Katz of The Athletic.
- Within that same Athletic story, Katz says center Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery) is on track to resume on-court work not long after the All-Star break, though it remains to be seen whether or not he’ll return this season. Katz adds that big man Isaiah Hartenstein doesn’t view the Achilles injury he has been nursing as a serious issue.
- Hartenstein, Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring), and Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) all returned to practice on Tuesday and went through a second day of workouts on Wednesday, according to Thibodeau, who said that all three players remain on track to return on Thursday (Twitter link via Steve Popper of Newsday).
- During a Boardroom.tv discussion (YouTube link) between Kevin Durant and longtime business partner Rich Kleiman, the duo confirmed that Kleiman badly wanted Durant to sign with the Knicks as a free agent in 2019, when the star forward instead chose to join the Nets.