Julius Randle injury: Star F undergoing season-ending surgery in massive blow for Knicks

Julius Randle injury update Knicks
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The New York Knicks’ postseason prospects took a significant hit on Thursday morning when ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that star forward Julius Randle will be undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Randle had initially dislocated his shoulder during a Jan. 27 game against the Miami Heat, suffering the injury late in a game well in hand after colliding with Jaime Jaquez Jr. 

The initial plan was rest and rehab for the 29-year-old, who had been partaking in mostly non-contact drills in recent weeks. But his recovery had plateaued as of late as team doctors were continuously unable to clear him to take that next step. 

“The thing for him is that he’s got to keep working every day until he gets to the point where he feels confident that he can take the contact that he’s accustomed to,” Thibodeau said on Tuesday. “When you look at his game and the way he plays, you don’t want him to change his style of play and I think that’s important.”

Randle was enjoying yet another All-Star campaign before suffering the injury, averaging 24 points, 9.2 rebounds, and five assists per game to create a lethal duo with Jalen Brunson. 

Julius Randle Knicks
Julius Randle (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Following the acquisition of OG Anunoby, the Knicks were the hottest team in the NBA, winning 14 of 16 games in January to catapult up the Eastern Conference standings. 

On the same late-January day, though, New York lost Randle and Anunoby, who is dealing with a lingering elbow issue that required surgery and held him out for 18 games. He returned for just three games from March 12 to 16 but has been put back on the shelf due to tennis elbow. 

The Knicks have expectedly been far more inconsistent without Randle in their ranks, despite the continued ascent toward superstardom by Brunson. Entering Thursday’s game against the Sacramento Kings, they have lost three straight games which sunk them to fifth in the Eastern Conference.

For more on Julius Randle and the Knicks, visit AMNY.com