Knicks' Randle progressing; surgery not ruled out

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ESPN News Services

Feb 21, 2024, 04:55 PM ET

New York Knicks All-Star forward Julius Randle said Wednesday he is progressing in his recovery from a dislocated right shoulder but didn't rule out season-ending surgery.

Speaking publicly for the first time since suffering the injury against the Miami Heat on Jan. 27, Randle said the aim is to return this season.

"There's still necessary steps. It's a process to everything. I have to weigh out everything, ultimately, and decide from there," Randle told reporters at the team's practice facility. "But right now, I'm just focused on trying to avoid [surgery], obviously, and get back on the court as soon as I can."

Randle said he has "heard many different options" about whether surgery is inevitable, either now or during the offseason.

"I like how I feel today as far as getting better, feeling stronger, progressing to where I need to be, as far as getting on the court," he said. "But I'm never somebody to say never. So, ultimately, I have to do what's best for myself to have a long career, have longevity in this."

Randle, who was selected to his third All-Star Game in the past four seasons, skipped the weekend's festivities in order to continue rehabbing his shoulder.

Asked about the prospect of Randle having surgery over the summer, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau replied, "We're taking it step by step; it's premature to say anything until you have all the information. But right now, he's preparing to come back to play.

"He's putting a lot into it, he looks good, he's got a great spirit about him. He's working out twice a day, so all things are good right now."

Thibodeau said Randle is doing a bit more each day but hasn't yet resumed basketball activities.

Randle was injured three weeks ago when he collided with Miami's Jaime Jaquez Jr. while driving to the basket. Randle landed awkwardly on his right side and was in noticeable pain as he ran to the locker room with trainers.

Randle is averaging 24 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5 assists while shooting 47.2% from the field and 31.1% from 3-point range.

Coming out of the All-Star break, the Knicks will face the 76ers in Philadelphia on Thursday.

Thibodeau said Isaiah Hartenstein (Achilles), Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring) and Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) all practiced for a second straight day and that he is hopeful to get some or all back against the Sixers.

The Knicks (33-22) had lost five of six heading into the break.

Field Level Media contributed to this report.

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