Latest Knicks injury update reveals what fans already suspected

New York Knicks, Julius Randle
New York Knicks, Julius Randle / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are racing against the clock. With the regular season winding to a close, there are still no timetables for Julius Randle and OG Anunoby's returns. Randle's been out since January 27 with a dislocated shoulder, and Anunoby briefly returned for three games but has been sidelined (again) since mid-March.

On April 14, the Knicks will play their final regular season game. With each day that passes, the likelihood of Randle and Anunoby not playing again in the regular season increases. On April 20, the playoffs will start (after the Play-In Tournament). Maybe, just maybe, Randle and/or Anunoby will return then. That wouldn't be ideal, but it'd be better than not having them at all.

When reporters have asked Tom Thibodeau about Randle and Anunoby, he hasn't answered directly. Before Sunday's game against Oklahoma City, he was asked about Anunoby specifically, but his response didn't make much sense.

Anunoby was previously listed on the injury report with elbow inflammation. However, ahead of the Knicks' game in Miami, the wing is listed as out with elbow tendinopathy (otherwise known as tennis elbow).

Even with Anunoby's uncertainty, fans suspect he'll be able to return before Randle. The All-Star forward hasn't been cleared for contact yet, and there haven't been many updates about his rehab progression.

Shams Charania says Anunoby is "more likely" to return for Knicks than Randle

On Monday, Shams Charania said Anunoby is more likely to return than Randle, which shouldn't be a shock.

At this point, fans should assume that neither will be back. Josh Hart said the Knicks are doing the same and that if Randle and Anunoby return, he'll be "pleasantly surprised." If New York enters the postseason without them, it is what it is.

Maybe the Knicks are holding Randle and Anunoby out until the playoffs start to ensure they have time to recover and won't risk making their injuries worse. Perhaps that's been their plan for a while now. There's no way of knowing.

Obviously, the hope is that both will be back. Randle was in the middle of another strong season, resulting in his third All-Star honor. The Anunoby trade elevated the Knicks to another level, and when he's on the court, they look like a different team. Both deserve to contribute to what could be a deep playoff run for New York.

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