Knicks fans get minor OG Anunoby elbow injury scare in win over Blazers

OG Anunoby had elbow surgery in early February.

New York Knicks, OG Anunoby
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby / Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are 2-0 since OG Anunoby returned to the lineup after missing a month and a half with an injured elbow that required surgery. His absence was felt, but when he returned in the Knicks' 106-79 win over the Sixers on Tuesday, it was as if he hadn't missed a beat.

Anunoby wasn't questionable for Thursday's game in Portland, a good sign that he wasn't dealing with any lingering injury-related effects from Tuesday's contest. However, in the second quarter against the Trail Blazers, it was evident that Anunoby's elbow was bothering him.

The wing stole the ball from Deandre Ayton, and his reaction was worrisome. Anunoby immediately grabbed his elbow and winced in pain. Once again, Knicks fans saw the rest of the season flash before their eyes.

How crushing it'd be to see Anunoby sidelined (again) soon after his return. He went to the bench, and one of New York's trainers removed his elbow brace and replaced it with a heating pad. Anunoby didn't head back to the locker room until halftime. He was back on the floor at the beginning of the second half, even though it seemed like he'd start the third quarter on the bench. Or worse, in the locker room.

OG Anunoby explains why his elbow was bothering him in Knicks' win over Blazers

There were a couple more instances in the second half where Anunoby was dealing with pain in his elbow. It didn't stop him from finishing with 12 points (5-of-11 from the field), nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 36 minutes.

After the win, Anunoby talked about the steal late in the second quarter, during which he was in obvious pain (subscription required).

"It’s just sore,” Anunoby said. “Nothing happened. Just went for a ball, and it hurt randomly, but it’s fine."

OG Anunoby, via The Athletic

He added:

"I haven’t done it in a while,” Anunoby continued. “Just getting used to it. You can’t re-create that in return to play and practice."

OG Anunoby, via The Athletic

Anunoby said he expects to play on Saturday in Sacramento, so he shouldn't be on the injury report. It seems his body is getting used to being back on the floor, which is why it's important that his return came with a month left to play in the regular season. There's no pressure for him to go into playoff overdrive. He took the time to recover off the court, and now he's acclimating to being back on it.

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