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Knicks Injury Woes Continue as Depth Will Be Challenged



The New York Knicks are three wins away from their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2000. The Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. They are attempting to do this despite injuries really testing their depth. That depth will now be tested further with the Mitchell Robinson injury news.

It was announced on Tuesday that Robinson has a stress injury to his left ankle. The center will be reevaluated in 6-8 weeks, thus ending his season prematurely.

Knicks Injury Woes Continue as Depth Will Be Challenged

Ankle Ailments All Season for Robinson

The 26-year-old Robinson got off to a strong start this season, especially on the defensive end. Many believed there was a possibility that he could be named to his first All-Defensive team if he kept it up.

Those talks were halted abruptly once the six-year veteran left a December 8 outing against the Boston Celtics. It was later revealed that Robinson had a fractured ankle that would require surgery.

Mitchell Robinson would go on to miss 50 straight regular-season contests due to the ankle injury. He would finally make his return to the court on March 27. Robinson went on to appear in 10 of New York’s last 11 regular season games.

Game 4 of the opening round between the Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers saw Robinson forced out of action due to his ankle. Game 3 saw a bit of controversy as Joel Embiid committed a flagrant foul on Robinson by grabbing his legs while Embiid was on the ground. While it’s unclear if that play helped to cause Robinson’s ankle issues to reemerge, many Knicks fans feel it’s at least partly to blame.

Who Will Step Up in His Absence?

The Knicks have dealt with numerous injuries to key pieces throughout the season. Despite this, they are still around in the postseason.

In addition to Robinson, both All-Star Julius Randle and sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic are also out for the playoffs. Randle suffered a separated shoulder late in January and later underwent season-ending surgery. Bogdanovic left Game 4 of the opening round after having his leg rolled on. It was later announced he would also undergo season-ending surgery on his left foot as well as his left wrist which was a previous injury.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has been notorious for playing his starters large minutes, especially in the postseason. The last two games of the Philadelphia series only saw two players come off the bench for New York.

He went three-deep off his bench in the Game 1 victory over the Pacers. One of the players to come in as a reserve was Precious Achiuwa who received just four minutes.

The 24-year-old Achiuwa will almost certainly see plenty more time in Robinson’s absence. Achiuwa played 20 minutes in the first-round game that Robinson missed.

No other healthy player on the Knicks bench has seen even a second of playing time this postseason other than Achiuwa and Miles McBride.

If Thibodeau decides on an eight-man rotation, the most likely to see playing time would be Alec Burks. The 32-year-old has been outside the Knicks rotation for quite some time as he struggled mightily with his shot after being acquired from the Detroit Pistons.

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