In the final four minutes of the New York Knicks’ game against the Miami Heat on Saturday, Julius Randle injured his right shoulder and was forced to exit the contest.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that the injury was actually a dislocated shoulder and that there is no timetable for Randle’s return.
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An X-ray was performed after the Knicks’ 125-109 victory over the Heat, and no further damage was visible. The team, however, is awaiting the results of an MRI to get a better idea of the extent of the injury and how much time Randle will miss.
Randle has been a key contributor to New York’s 12-2 run since the new year began. In addition to averaging 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game, Randle’s name has been in the mix for a potential All-Star nod this year.
“It was an, ‘Oh s***’ reaction,” guard Jalen Brunson said via ESPN. “We don’t want to see that from anybody, especially him with how he’s been playing. He means a lot to us. So for him to go back there, obviously it’s not ideal.”
Randle sustained the injury as he drove to the basket and Heat forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. positioned himself to take a charge. Randle laid on the hardwood for several moments grimacing in pain and only got up with the help of his teammates.
What caught his teammates and New York head coach Tom Thibodeau’s attention, though, was the fact that Randle didn’t allow his teammates to touch his right arm. The team trainer came over to Randle and appeared to try to help the 29-year old pop the shoulder back in, and Randle resigned himself to being unable to shoot his free throws. The 10-year veteran jogged back into the locker room.
“You knew for him to do that [it might be serious],” said Thibodeau, who spoke before the team had a clear sense of how bad the injury was. “He’s a guy who plays through things, and that’s what you love about him. He’s a warrior.”