Julius Randle and OG Anunoby Give Concerning Injury Updates for Knicks Fans

The Knicks at full health looked like a potential NBA Finals contender, now the team has to deal with concerns about injuries to their biggest pieces

Jan 27, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is helped up by
Jan 27, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is helped up by / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star Break couldn't have come at a better time for the New York Knicks as the injuries were piling up. Julius Randle, OG Anunoby, Isaiah Hartenstein, Donte DiVincenzo, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Mitchell Robinson all were dealing with injuries before the Knicks went on break.

The Knicks should see DiVincenzo, Bogdanovic, and Hartenstein return on Thursday while Mitchell Robinson is nearing a return to the team. However, two of the team's biggest pieces in OG Anunoby and Julius Randle have no set timetable to return and the comments both players made on Wednesday raise further concerns.

OG Anunoby underwent surgery on his elbow and has been out since January 27th's win over the Heat. He spoke with the media today about when he may return saying the following:

"Yeah, it definitely sucks, but just trying to get better as fast as possible and then be ready for the rest of the season."

OG Anunoby

Both Tom Thibodeau and OG Anunoby have stated that the forward has no set timetable to return as he awaits doctors' clearance.

The more concerning of the pair's injuries is Julius Randle who suffered an injury to his right shoulder on a freak play against the Heat. In speaking to the media Randle revealed that surgery is on the table which is shocking and scary for the Knicks:

"I mean, we'll see. There are still necessary steps. It's a process to everything. I have to weigh out everything ultimately and we'll see from there. But, right now I am focused on just trying to avoid surgery, obviously, and get back on the court as soon as possible."

Julius Randle

If Randle's shoulder injury is serious enough that it may require season-ending surgery, you have to think he'd be facing some effects if he came back without it.

The Knicks at full health are one of the contenders in the East, especially given the trade deadline acquisitions. The addition of OG Anunoby had completely flipped the Knicks' season and the team improved massively on defense. The Knicks need Julius Randle's scoring ability for the playoffs otherwise opponents will focus solely on stopping Jalen Brunson. Since losing Randle and Anunoby the Knicks are 4-5 seeing their play fall off on both ends of the court.

Losing either Randle or Anunoby for the season would be a massive blow for an exciting Knicks team while losing both would be catastrophic. The team's ceiling goes from one of the favorites to make the Eastern Conference Finals to fighting to get out of the first round if the Knicks lose the duo.

Would a clearer timetable have changed the Knicks' deadline approach?

The plan for the Knicks at the trade deadline was clear adding shooting upgrades that can help improve the second unit's scoring. One of the biggest questions will be if the Knicks knew Randle and Anunoby may miss the entire regular season and potentially the playoffs would they have made a different set of moves at the deadline? It's unclear which forwards that could've boosted the Knicks ceiling may have been available but, with the level of play the team is getting out of Jalen Brunson the team may have made a strong push to bolster their playoff chances.

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