Knicks’ Coach Shares Thoughts On OG Anunoby Injury

Tom Thibodeau, Knicks, NBA
Mar 18, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau watches the game against the Golden State Warriors during the first half at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The second half of the 2023-24 NBA regular season has been marred by injuries for the New York Knicks. After completing a trade with the Toronto Raptors ahead of the New Year, they were one of the best teams in the league.

OG Anunoby was an immediate contributor, helping the team produce on both ends of the court at a high level. Precious Achiuwa has also turned into an excellent addition to the lineup given his versatility in the frontcourt.

Alas, one of the reasons Achiuwa has been pushed into such a sizable role has been for the injuries hitting the team. Their starting forward tandem of Anunboy and NBA All-Star Julius Randle last played together on January 27th; Randle separated his shoulder in the game against the Miami Heat and Anunboy was dealing with an elbow injury.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Tom Thibodeau, OG Anunoby, New York Knicks Updates

Randle remains sidelined, while Anunboy would end up missing 18 games before returning. He made it three games before issues with his elbow flared up, causing him to join Randle on the sidelines once again.

It is certainly a disappointing turn of events, as it seems more and more likely we won’t see this group of Knicks at their highest potential together because of injuries. Before the Knicks took on the Golden State Warriors on Monday night, head coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about Anunoby and shared his thoughts on the setback.

“You can’t work backwards. There’s many steps he had to go through. He met all the markers. He was cleared. This is a possibility. Whenever you come back from surgery, this is what you’re looking at…We feel good about where he is,” Thibodeau said when asked if Anunoby came back too early, via Fred Katz of The Athletic.

As Thibodeau stated, Anunoby went through a gauntlet of testing and preparation to get back on the court. There is always a risk when returning to play after surgery and unfortunately, he has run into a roadblock after three games back.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Tom Thibodeau, OG Anunoby, New York Knicks Updates

Anunoby looked to aggravate something in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers, as he didn’t look like himself in the second half. He was wincing through pain and looked even worse on Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings.

Hopefully, this isn’t another long-term injury and Anunoby can get back on the court before the end of the regular season. He is unlikely to play on Thursday night against the Denver Nuggets, the last game on the team’s four-game road trip.

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