Should Knicks fans be overly concerned about OG Anunoby's injury uncertainty?

In February, OG Anunoby underwent elbow surgery.
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby
New York Knicks, OG Anunoby / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

OG Anunoby played in 14 games after the trade to the New York Knicks. That four-week stretch proved the front office made the right yet tough decision to move on from RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley. The Knicks looked unstoppable, but then Jan. 27 happened. Julius Randle dislocated his shoulder against the Heat, and that was the last game Anunoby played in before undergoing elbow surgery.

New York announced after the Feb. 8 trade deadline that the wing underwent surgery to remove loose bone fragment from his elbow for an injury initially listed as elbow inflammation. The good news was that Anunoby would still be able to return before the end of the season.

After missing 18 games, Anunoby finally returned to the starting lineup on March 12 against the Sixers. He finished with 14 points (6-of-11), four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 29 minutes in the 106-79 win. New York looked like a different team. Anunoby's return was short-lived, though.

He played in Portland and Sacramento but with obvious discomfort. Against the Trail Blazers, he grabbed his elbow and yelped in pain. It seemed he wouldn't make it through the entire game, but he did and was available two days later against the Kings. In Sacramento, Anunoby shot 1-of-8 from the field for two points in 33 minutes, but the Knicks still picked up the win. That was the last game he played in.

OG Anunoby to miss fourth-straight Knicks game after injury setback

Before New York played Golden State on March 18, Tom Thibodeau revealed that Anunoby had returned to New York for an MRI, which luckily came back clean but showed inflammation. He missed the Knicks' final two games of their road trip. When the team returned to the city to host the Nets on Saturday afternoon, Anunoby missed it.

On Monday, the Knicks will host the Pistons. It'll be the fourth-straight game Anunoby's missed since his recent setback.

With New York's last regular season game coming up quickly on April 14, fans have been worrying about Anunoby's status. There hasn't been a clear timetable for his return, which isn't surprising given how the organization operates, but it certainly is concerning.

A week ago, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Anunoby would miss several games with elbow inflammation. He wrote that the wing's elbow would need to "calm down" before he could return to the lineup. Who knows how long that will take?

There's no need for the Knicks to rush Anunoby back. The goal is for him to be healthy once the playoffs start. It's better that he's having this setback now than at the very end of the regular season. However, given his extensive injury history, there's reason not to feel optimistic. In general, New York hasn't been able to catch a break.

After Monday's contest, the Knicks will have 11 regular season games left. New York sits No. 4 in the East, a half-game back from Cleveland and a half-game ahead of Orlando. Every game matters. Robinson will return soon, but there's still uncertainty surrounding Anunoby and Randle.

The Knicks have won games without that trio, but that won't be sustainable once the playoffs start. Hopefully, good news is on the way!

Next. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. 20 People who turned their backs on the Knicks. dark