New York Knicks fans have been waiting not-so-patiently for a Julius Randle injury update after he dislocated his shoulder against the Heat on Saturday. He underwent an MRI that night and additional testing on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury, but nothing was said about his condition until Monday morning.
There was a fear amongst the fan base that Randle would be out for the rest of the season, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski relieved those worries. He reported that rather than be out for months, the forward is expected to be out for weeks.
SNY's Ian Begley reported that Randle undergoing surgery hasn't been ruled out, but there's "optimism" it can be avoided.
That's the best-case scenario for Randle and New York. It was already known that he'd miss some time, so it's great that he could be back in action before the regular season ends. You can say what you want about Randle and his past playoff performances, but the Knicks need him, especially during the postseason.
Knicks' Julius Randle expected to miss a weeks, not months, with dislocated shoulder
Luckily for New York, the trade deadline is on the horizon. The Knicks were reportedly already interested in acquiring a backup power forward before Randle got hurt. However, Begley reported that before the injury, he heard that there was "some thought internally" about not doing a lot leading up to the deadline because of the team's success.
Josh Hart has spent some time at the four this season, although it's been a role he's struggled in. He'll likely be the one to get the starting nod with Randle out. Tom Thibodeau also floated the idea of Jericho Sims getting some run at the four against bigger lineups.
The Knicks could (and probably should) be more inclined to make a move ahead of the deadline now. Bruce Brown is a player who keeps popping up, and he could give New York scoring off the bench. No player will be able to match Randle's production, but there are a few short-term solutions the front office could look into.
Although it doesn't seem as if the Knicks are lucky, especially now that they're down two starters, there's a chance that the team could be full-strength entering the playoffs, which is the goal. Randle's durability has always helped him to stand out, and if he can avoid surgery, that'd be huge.