The NBA denied the New York Knicks' $7.8 million Disabled Player Exception for Mitchell Robinson's ankle injury, but for good reason.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that there's "optimism" that Robinson can return at the end of the regular season. If that's the case, that's huge news for New York's playoff hopes.
Robinson suffered the left ankle injury in Dec. 8's loss to the Celtics. He underwent surgery several days later, and the belief was that he'd be out for the entire season. Luckily, Isaiah Hartenstein has been holding it down for New York in Robinson's absence, but it can't be understated how important Robinson was in the 21 games he played before getting hurt.
Woj reports there's "optimism" Mitchell Robinson could return to Knicks this season
Mitchell Robinson recently posted on Snapchat that he'd be taking time away from social media to deal with his mental health. He was in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation before he got hurt. Robinson's no stranger to injuries, which made it that much more unfortunate when the news broke that he'd be out for the season.
Hopefully, Robinson's spirits have been lifted. The Knicks have been on a surge since OG Anunoby's debut, but before that, New York's defense dropped after Robinson's absence. He's the best offensive rebounder in the league and one of the best rim protectors. There's a reason why he's often referred to as the Knicks' defensive anchor.
As great as it'd be to see Robinson back on the floor this season, his recovery is imperative. The last thing New York should want is for him to come back too soon and re-aggravate his ankle.
It's hard not to dream about Robinson returning to the team in time for the postseason, though. With him, the Knicks will be an even tougher test for opposing teams. Just ask Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley.