Injured Knicks “closer” Mitchell Robinson will return

With the 2023-24 NBA regular season quickly approaching its end, the New York Knicks are still patiently waiting for some of their key players to return to the court. They have been without their starting frontcourt for much of the season, which shows how much other players have stepped up in their absence.

New York has been without starting center Mitchell Robinson since early December as he underwent ankle surgery. Julius Randle hasn’t played since January 27, when he broke his shoulder against the Miami Heat. OG Anunoby has only played three games since that matchup with the Heat as he deals with an elbow issue.

That’s a lot of minutes and production that the team has been missing, but they hope to get them back into the game as soon as possible. No one knows when they will return, but right now, according to coach Tom Thibodeau, Robinson is the closest to a return.

Before the Knicks’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, Thibodeau offered an update on his injured players. Stefan Bondy of the New York Post shared the update, as not much of an update has been provided outside of the Robinson news.

Bringing Robinson back into the mix would be huge for New York. Their defensive scheme without the central player archetype sometimes leads to shaky results. Precious Achiuwa has been incredible in playing a larger role, but some matchups in the NBA are difficult for him as an undersized center.

With Robinson back in the lineup, both starting and off the bench, Thibodeau will have 48 minutes of legitimate rim protection with a lock to the defense and elite rebounding. He and Isaiah Hartenstein are currently the best center combination in the NBA and would make life difficult for any opponent.

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