Insider Shares Update on Knicks Star Jalen Brunson’s Injury

Jalen Brunson, Knicks

Getty Jalen Brunson #11 of the New York Knicks reacts after he rolled his his ankle s in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden.

The New York Knicks built a 28-point cushion and then hung on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 123-113 on Tuesday, February 6, but Jalen Brunson’s ankle injury hangs over the team with the trade deadline less than 24 hours away.

SNY’s Knicks insider Ian Begley reported right after the game that Brunson left the Madison Square Garden under his power.

“I’m hearing so far that belief is Jalen Brunson has avoided a severe ankle injury. That’s the initial read on it,” Begley said on SNY Sportnite with Nikki Lattarulo. “We saw him walking out of the locker room area slowly, gingerly, no limping, no crutches, nothing on his ankles. So that’s a good sign.”

Brunson tweaked his ankle on a drive against Grizzlies rookie G.G. Jackson with 5:31 to play with the Knicks’ once 20-point lead cut into half 105-95.

Donte DiVincenzo took over when Brunson left the game with 12 of his game-high 32 points to avert a Knicks monumental collapse.

“Playing with him for so long and knowing him so well, I said ‘You good?’ and he’s like ‘I’m good’ and I didn’t ask anything else after that,” DiVincenzo told reporters afterward when asked about Brunson. “I don’t worry about Jalen at all. He’s one of the toughest guys in the league. I’m not worried.”

Brunson finished with 27 points and 8 assists with the soldout Garden crowd serenading him with M-V-P chants. But the injury scare sucked out the air in the world’s most famous arena as the 19,103 fans in attendance held their collective breath.

Their bounced-back win after a 113-105 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers that snapped a 9-game win streak allowed them to catch the Milwaukee Bucks (33-18) at third place in the East.

Knicks’ Mounting Injuries

The Knicks were already missing three of their starters — Julius Randle (dislocated shoulder), OG Anunoby (elbow inflammation) and Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery) — and key reserve Quentin Grimes (sprained knee).

Shortly after Brunson went straight to the locker room, Josh Hart also appeared to have hurt his knee.

But Begley allayed fears of a serious injury as he reported that Hart also walked out of the arena normally.

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau did not have any information to give during his postgame interview other than the Knicks medical team are checking in with both Brunson and Hart. He defended his decision to bring Brunson back into the game with the Knicks leading by 20 with 8:08 to go.

“[I’m] just reading the game,” Thibodeau said via SNY. “I told you guys, no lead is safe.”

True enough, the Grizzlies made a run with unheralded Jacob Gilyad hitting 3 straight 3-pointers as Memphis came within 104-95 right before Brunson’s ill-fated drive.

Mitchell Robinson Nears Return

Before the game, Thibodeau shared a positive news about Robinson’s recovery.

“He’s doing better and better and so [he’s] progressing,” Thibodeau said via SNY. “And I think probably right after the All-Star break, he’ll start to do activities on the court.”

Robinson has been out since suffering a left ankle sprain on December 8 against the Boston Celtics, which later required surgery.

“So we’re very pleased with how he’s coming along,” Thibodeau added. So, yeah, it’s positive [news].”

Robinson’s rehab will begin with swimming pool exercises and lifting weights. After that, he’ll progress to non-contact drills (shooting, running and jumping). The next phase would be contact drills from 1-on-1 until 5-on-5 and the last hurdle to clear is team practices.



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