With the playoffs on the horizon, we’ve started getting clarity on the injury status of Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and OG Anunoby.

The hits kept coming and they did not stop coming for the New York Knicks this season. Literally. 

The ‘Bockers lost starting center Mitchell Robinson early in their 2023-24 campaign to an ankle injury, sidelining him for a majority of the year.

Then, every Knick fan collectively threw their hands up in disbelief at watching iron man Julius Randle go down with a shoulder injury in the teams’ January matchup with conference rival Miami Heat, which has kept him out of play for a month, going on two, due to a dislocated shoulder and as he opted against surgery. 

The third blow came as a bit of a surprise, as OG Anunoby suffered bone chips bugging his right elbow back in February. They have since been removed but are still causing discomfort as he tries to get back on the floor and play through his post-surgery pain. 

All that said, there have been some significant updates on all three starters in the last few days. Let’s take a look at what we know regarding Robinson, Randle, and Anunoby, and what timetable they have received, if at all, for a return to action. 

Mitchell Robinson

Starting off strong with our collection of updates, Robinson has gone through full-contact practice with the team as of Wednesday, March 20th per New York Post beat reporter Stefan Bondy. This means that he is ramping up for a return, and imminently. The Athletic’s Fred Katz also reported Wednesday that there are strong indicators that, upon that imminent return, Robinson will be playing alongside the bench unit. 

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst speculated on Wednesday that Robinson could be expected to return by the end of this month, which would put a target squarely on the Knicks’ game against the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs, or Oklahoma City Thunder for the center. Any three of those teams would be good practice for Robinson to get back into the hang of things alongside a new-look team, and it will be a delight to see the Blockness Monster back on the court as New York has begun to fully lean back into the gritty defense that found them coasting through opponents back in January. 

Julius Randle

Randle’s updates regarding his injury have been murky, at best. A dislocated shoulder is tricky – any contact that becomes too much for the injured shoulder to take on can cause a re-injury or a tear around the area of the shoulder’s socket, which can all but guarantee his absence from the postseason as well as surgery to repair the tear. 

So far, it seems that Randle is planning on trying to weather through the injury and get back onto the floor for the playoffs. Per SNY’s Ian Begley, Randle has done everything but take contact in his rehabilitation from the injury, which has raised some concerns about his ability to get back on the floor at all this season. However, Begley also reports that several people in the Knicks organization feel good about Randle’s chances at getting back out there by the end of the season. There are just 14 games left for New York, with some heavy-hitting battles against the Boston Celtics and Heat still left on the calendar. I think I speak for many Knicks fans in feeling as though Randle should not be risking anything with this injury, and should instead take it as slow as possible in his ramp-up to taking contact so that he is totally – or closest to totally – healthy for the postseason. We shall see if this coaching staff agrees with that notion. 

OG Anunoby

Anunoby returned for the team against the Philadelphia 76ers on March 12, helping to hold them to just 79 total points. His impact was immediately felt, which was not a shock to anyone who watched him with the team back in January. Him simply taking a step onto the hardwood seems to awaken the beast within all the Knicks’ starters, as they all seem a half step quicker to their defensive assignments and into passing lanes. 

That’s why it was so disheartening to see Anunoby start to literally scream in pain in their proceeding game against the Portland Trailblazers. He stayed in the game, but it was obvious something was up. He also played in their game against the Sacramento Kings, but again, looked very uncomfortable moving that surgically repaired elbow. The other shoe dropped after that win with news that he would be out without a timetable as he deals with discomfort in the elbow he had bone chips removed from, a not insignificant but tolerable blow to New York’s newfound momentum on the teams’ west coast trip. 

Anunoby, like Randle per Begley, is without a timetable to return. However, Begley says in his report linked above that he felt better as of Monday. Hopefully, he can come back when the team returns home and faces off with the struggling Brooklyn Nets this Saturday. No need to throw him back into the fire of a game against the contending champion Denver Nuggets who are sure to be looking for blood after getting blown out by the Knicks back in January. 

Related Content

»Read: Best Prospects To Watch In 2024 March Madness

»Read: Josh Hart Doing It All For The Knicks 

»Read: How Knicks Can Reintegrate Key Players Returning From Injury