Knicks fans get worst possible Julius Randle news as season nears end

Julius Randle dislocated his shoulder on Jan. 27.

New York Knicks, Julius Randle
New York Knicks, Julius Randle / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Well, there you have it. After two-plus months of waiting for Julius Randle to make his return to the New York Knicks lineup, it's official that he won't return this season.

Randle dislocated his shoulder against the Heat on Jan. 27. There was a waiting period to see if he'd have to undergo surgery. It was reported that the Knicks were optimistic he'd get to bypass surgery and return before the end of the season. That optimism is gone.

On Thursday morning, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Randle will undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Knicks All-Star Julius Randle to undergo season-ending surgery on shoulder

Wojnarowski reported that Randle recently visited two specialists who said that if he were to push through the pain and play, he could sustain permanent damage to his shoulder.

As hard as Randle has worked to return to the court, he can't put his career on the line. He's 29, so he has plenty left to give. There's a lot on the line for his future, too. Randle has a $29.5 million player option for 2025-26 that he could opt out of to become a free agent as soon as next summer. The 2024-25 season will be an important one.

What is Julius Randle's estimated recovery time after shoulder surgery?

Randle will be re-evaluated in five months. Wojnarowski reported that he's expected to be ready by the start of next season, so at least there's some good news.

The 2024 offseason will mark the second straight summer that Randle has had to recover from surgery. He sprained his ankle at the end of last season and tweaked it again in the playoffs. Randle had a slow start to the 2023-24 season (subscription required) because he couldn't do his usual offseason workouts.

As tough as the news is for Knicks fans, it's an even tougher blow to Randle. He earned his third All-Star honor this season and was on his way to being named to an All-NBA team for the third time. The OG Anunoby trade benefitted the team as a whole, but especially Randle. He was playing the best basketball of his career before he got hurt.

Best wishes to Julius and the Randle family!

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