Tom Thibodeau Gives Major Injury Update on Knicks Center Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson, Knicks

Getty Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks misses a dunk during the second half of an NBA In-Season Tournament game against the Charlotte Hornets.

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is progressing toward returning this season, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters on Tuesday, February 6, before they faced the Memphis Grizzlies.

“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.

The Knicks applied for Disabled Player Exception which the league turned down. Robinson is on track to return for the stretch run or in the playoffs.

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

The Knicks coach explained that Robinson will have to undergo the step-by-step process which begins with the rehab that includes swimming pool exercises and lifting weights. After that, he’ll progress to non-contact drills from shooting to running and jumping. From there, he would progress to contact drills from 1-on-1 to 2-on-2 until 5-on-5 and the last hurdle to clear is team practices.

The 25-year-old Robinson was enjoying a career season, leading the league in offensive rebounding with 5.3 per game, before he went down with the injury. In 21 games, he averaged a career-high 10.3 rebounds along with 6.2 points on 59% shooting, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.

Knicks Thrive Without Mitchell Robinson

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies, the Knicks are 20-9 without Robinson, thanks to the solid relief job of his backup Isaiah Hartenstein.

Hartenstein averaged 11.3 rebounds, 8.1 points and 2.6 assists in 27 games without Robinson this season, proving he, too, is a starting-caliber center. The German-American center is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. He recently caught the attention of the Utah Jazz.

In the wake of Hartenstein’s development, Robinson’s future became the subject of speculation.

In January, SNY’s Knicks insider Ian Begley reported that some teams were monitoring Robinson’s health.

“As we noted on [January 10], some opposing teams doing their homework ahead of the trade deadline wanted to know more about Robinson’s health. Those teams now have some information to work with. They also should be able to evaluate him in the postseason,” SNY’s Ian Begley wrote on January 11.

Knicks Engaged Raptors in Bruce Brown Trade Talks

According to The Athletic’s Fred Katz, the Knicks and the Toronto Raptors have discussed a potential trade involving Bruce Brown, who won a championship with the Denver Nuggets last season as 6th Man.

“The Knicks have spoken with the Toronto Raptors about Bruce Brown, league sources have said, but [Quentin] Grimes hasn’t been part of those conversations. Instead, discussions have centered around Evan Fournier and draft compensation for Brown,” Katz reported on February 6.

A potential sticking point in the negotiation is the draft compensation.

Katz added context to his report on X, formerly Twitter, as he pointed out that the Raptors could have up to 3 first-round picks in June’s NBA Draft — their own plus two from Indiana Pacers (Indiana’s own selection and the lesser of a Utah/Houston/LA Clippers/Oklahoma City pick) via the Pascal Siakam trade.

“Toronto … would probably want a first from 2025 or beyond for Brown. The Knicks, meanwhile, are trying to keep as many future picks as they can for “the star trade,” Katz posted on X.

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