Knicks’ Isaiah Hartenstein Frustrated With Lack of Minutes Returning from Injury

Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks

Getty NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 08: Isaiah Hartenstein #55 of the New York Knicks dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during their game at Madison Square Garden on February 08, 2024 in New York City. User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks have dealt with many injuries throughout the past few months. It started with Mitchell Robinson injuring his ankle, allowing Isaiah Hartenstein to get a bigger role than he was used to with the Knicks. Hartenstein not only played well in that bigger role, but he was a huge contributor to the Knicks’ success with Robinson out. In 24 starts, he’s averaging 8 points and 10.8 rebounds.

Hartenstein has dealt with the injury bug recently, sidelining him for the previous three games before the Philadelphia 76ers game on February 22. He was dealing with a sore Achilles, the second time he’s dealt with an injury to his Achilles. Despite the return to action, Hartenstein left Philadelphia frustrated with his lack of minutes. He had the following to say, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Post:

“It felt good. It was a little frustrating not to get to my minute requirement. So that was a little frustration,” Hartenstein said. “But still day by day. It felt good. So got to keep building. And hopefully next game, I hit my minute mark.”

It sounds like the Knicks center’s frustration was more of a frustration from a personal standpoint than it was about anything else as he was still happy to win the game.

“From a building-up standpoint, that was the only thing that was a little frustrating. But we won the game,” Hartenstein said.

Hartenstein Reveals Ramp-Up Process

The New York Knicks will look to increase Hartenstein’s workload as he’s a massive piece to the team succeeding in the regular season and playoffs.

Hartenstein spoke about his process as the Knicks look to get him up to speed.

“We just have to gradually build it up,” he said. “I think it’ll be hard to go from 10 [minutes] straight to 30. But we’ll see the next couple games.”

Given this was the second time in less than a month that an Achilles issue kept him off the court, the Knicks are being cautious. However, Hartenstein says they aren’t scared of it popping.

“It’s something like it gets irritated, it always happens. We’re not scared of it popping,” he said. “So the Knicks do a good job, we test a lot. The strength is there. We’re not scared of it popping or anything like that.”

New York Knicks Injury Updates

Hartenstein isn’t the only New York Knicks player dealing with an injury.

OG Anunoby and Julius Randle have both been out and don’t have return dates. Randle hasn’t ruled out surgery, which is a bit concerning for the Knicks, but that could be him being cautious.

“I think I’m planning on being back on the court April 1st probably. Nah, I’m just kidding. I’m just taking it a day at a time to be honest. Every day I’m getting stronger and better.”

Anunoby spoke about his injury and said he hopes to be back before the playoffs. The Knicks have a 15.8 net rating with Anunoby on the court, showing his impact on both sides of the basketball.

“Yeah, for sure [I’ll be back before the playoffs], hopefully,” Anunoby told reporters via SNY on February 20. “Just following the doctors’ orders, following the medical staff, just progressing day by day. I’m feeling better and better every day. So, yeah. I want to be back as soon as possible.”

Hartenstein’s return allows Anunoby and Randle to heal from their injuries as the playoffs approach for the Knicks.

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