When is Julius Randle coming back? Latest injury timeline for Knicks star

Julius Randle dislocated his shoulder on Jan. 27.

New York Knicks, Julius Randle
New York Knicks, Julius Randle / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The New York Knicks have been without Julius Randle for three weeks. What initially looked like a season-ending injury was diagnosed as a dislocated shoulder, with the belief being that the star forward could avoid surgery and return before the end of 2023-24.

Before the All-Star break, Tom Thibodeau said Randle was progressing well in his recovery. The coach credited Randle for being in good shape, which will help him return to the court sooner rather than later.

The Knicks will be back in action on Feb. 22 in Philadelphia, but they'll still be without several key players. Donte DiVincenzo, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Bojan Bogdanovic all missed the team's final game before the break but are expected to play. Randle, OG Anunoby, and Mitchell Robinson won't be on the court, but fans shouldn't be discouraged.

On Tuesday, The Athletic's Fred Katz reported there's "growing optimism" (subscription required) that Randle will return before the end of the regular season.

"There is growing optimism inside the Knicks that a Randle return will come with time remaining in the regular season. The team’s starting power forward notoriously insists on playing through pain. But now, with the New York Knicks hoping for a playoff run, the job of the training staff and team doctors is to save Randle from himself."

Fred Katz, The Athletic

When is Julius Randle coming back? Latest injury timeline for Knicks star

As of Feb. 20, Randle hasn't been cleared to practice yet, but the optimism within the organization is a good sign that he soon could be.

New York has 27 regular season games left, with the final one being on April 14, a little less than two months away. Getting regular season reps in before another postseason run would be huge for Randle and the Knicks.

Remember how Randle looked to start the season? Offseason ankle surgery was the reason for his slow start, but once he got his legs under him, he took off. He isn't dealing with another lower-body injury, which will benefit his conditioning. He'll likely still be dealing with some discomfort, but that shouldn't be held against him. You know that it still will be, though.

The good news is that Randle's on track to return before the postseason. When updates regarding his status are reported, they will be added here, including when he's cleared to practice.

2/21 update: Julius Randle said he's feeling good, but that offseason surgery hasn't been ruled out.