May 18, 2024

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Knicks' OG Anunoby may miss multiple games due to 'management of right elbow injury'

Knicks' OG Anunoby may miss multiple games due to 'management of right elbow injury'

SAN FRANCISCO — OG Anunoby will “most likely” miss the rest of the New York Knicks' road trip due to what the team is calling “injury management,” coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday. The team has not provided a timetable for the injury after this week.

The Knicks have ruled out Anunoby, who returned from surgery on his right elbow on March 12, as of Monday morning, the day of their game with the Golden State Warriors. He returned home to undergo an MRI later. The results “came back clean,” Thibodeau said. Instead, it showed inflammation in the area where the procedure was performed, Nix said.

“We want to make sure he stays healthy,” Thibodeau said. “We knew that was a possibility when you bring a guy back from surgery. If there's discomfort and other things and he can't function the way we feel he needs to function on the field, we'll give him the time he needs to calm down and we'll go from there.”

New York has one more game on its road trip — at the Denver Nuggets on Thursday — before returning to Madison Square Garden for Saturday's matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

Anunoby began to show visible signs of pain during the Knicks' win in Portland on Thursday when he grimaced most of the time when he made a downward pass with his right arm or shot the basketball. The Knicks insisted after that game that he was not injured. They expected “bumps and bruises” like that, Thibodeau said after the game.

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The next day, the team listed Anunoby as questionable for Saturday's game against the Sacramento Kings. They listed the disease as “injury management.” He played but shot just 1-of-8 from the field. Most of his misses, which he fired with an arm that had just undergone surgery, were unusually short.

Once again, New York listed him as questionable for the next contest, this one against the Warriors. But on Monday morning, they switched his status from questionable to unlikely.

Thibodeau declined to answer whether Anunoby returned from surgery too early.

“You can't work backwards,” he said. “There's a lot of steps he had to go through. He met all the signs. He's cleared. That's a possibility. When you come back from surgery, that's what you look at. And so, we feel good about where he's at. Just give him the time he needs.”

Anunoby underwent surgery to remove part of a loose bone from his right elbow in early February. He resumed his on-field activities about three weeks later and moved to contact drills just six days after that. By March 12, he was competing in the Games again.

The Knicks took off immediately upon his return, winning their first three games with him in the lineup. They are now 15-2 in games played this season.

But now, once again, it is out indefinitely.

“Anytime you come back like he did, or go through a game, you can be OK,” Thibodeau said. “Then the next day you want to see how you feel the next day. That's why a lot of times when a player comes back we always say he's had training, but we want to see how he'll feel tomorrow. Well, it's the same thing. He's coming out of surgery.” “So he got into the game. There's discomfort. So we'll let it settle and we'll go from there.”

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Anunoby, 26, is averaging 14.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game for the Knicks this season.

(Photo by OG Anunoby: Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)