Knicks get unusually positive injury update after key player avoids disaster

Thank goodness he was spared.
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau
New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The way that Tom Thibodeau looks as the featured image at the top of this article is how New York Knicks fans felt when they saw Isaiah Hartenstein go down in the first half on Sunday. As if the eventual blowout loss wasn't enough, it seemed as if the Knicks would be without their starter (and backup center) in the second half.

If it was a regular season game, Hartenstein likely would've sat the second half. Instead, he pushed through the pain until Tom Thibodeau pulled the starters.

After the discouraging loss, Hartenstein said that the X-ray on his shoulder "came back fine" and that he should be able to play in Game 5.

Isaiah Hartenstein gives encouraging shoulder update after scary fall

New York's injury luck has been terrible this season, dating back to Mitchell Robinson's ankle injury in December that required surgery. The Knicks were the NBA's hottest team in January after the OG Anunoby trade, but Julius Randle dislocated his shoulder at the end of the month. He worked for two months to return but eventually had no choice but to undergo season-ending surgery. During that time, Anunoby dealt with an elbow injury that required surgery.

So far, during the postseason, Bojan Bogdanovic hurt his foot, which required season-ending surgery. Robinson suffered a "stress injury" to his surgically repaired ankle, and Anunoby injured his hamstring in Game 2. The forward missed Games 3 and 4, and he'll likely miss the rest of the second-round series.

New York literally can't afford another injury, especially to another starter. The Knicks don't have Robinson to slide into the starting lineup. No offense to Jericho Sims, but his play in the past couple of games hasn't been encouraging. It's tough when non-rotation players receive playoff minutes. Alec Burks is the exception.

Don't be surprised if Hartenstein's on the Game 5 injury report, whether he's listed as questionable or probable. Hopefully, his name isn't on there at all. He's already dealt with an Achilles injury this season that caused him to be on a minutes restriction.

Please, basketball gods, watch over the Knicks. They've suffered enough.