NBA Insider Reveals Surgery, Return Timeline for Knicks’ OG Anunoby

New York Knicks, OG Anunoby

Getty OG Anunoby dribbling against Delon Wright.

OG Anunoby of the New York Knicks had surgery on his right elbow, according to NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Wojnarowski had the following to say about the injury on February 8:

“BREAKING: New York Knicks F OG Anunoby had surgery to remove a loose bone fragment in his right elbow and will miss a minimum of three weeks, sources tell ESPN. Procedure is considered minor and he’s expected to resume basketball activities in three weeks.”

In a follow-up tweet, Wojnarowski noted that he attempted rest before electing surgery.

“He had tried resting but this procedure turned out to be the best route to get him fully healed and playing again for the stretch run and postseason, sources said.”

If the three-week timetable is accurate and he doesn’t miss much longer than that, the Knicks should find themselves in a fine position moving forward. New York has proven that they can play without him throughout the past five games, going 4-1 without him.

However, Anunoby must be healthy for them to win a championship as his defense changes things for the Knicks.

Knicks Trade Deadline Additions Give Them Flexibility

The New York Knicks made moves for Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks on February 8. Neither player can replace Anunoby’s defensive presence, but they do help the Knicks get by for these few weeks.

Ian Begley of SNY reported earlier on February 8 that Anunoby’s injury played a factor in the moves that the Knicks made.

“Told that uncertainty/concern around OG Anunoby injury has factored in to NYK’s deadline approach. Heard Anunoby had been making progress late last week but he’s missed games since then. NYK yesterday changed injury description from elbow inflammation to bone spur irritation.”

Bogdanovic and Burks can serve as the team’s forwards as Anunoby and Julius Randle get healthy. In the meantime, a small surgery for Anunoby isn’t the end of the world. The Knicks have four more games before the All-Star break and then he gets another week off.

For the Knicks, it’s important to allow Anunoby to rest until he’s fully healthy. They look more than capable of winning regular season games without him, so there’s no true reason to rush him back.

Health Is Wealth for the Knicks

For the first time in a very long time, the New York Knicks have a team that can contend to win a championship. That hasn’t been the case for the Knicks throughout the past two decades, but Jalen Brunson, Randle, Anunoby, and others have made it a possibility for a championship run at Madison Square Garden.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau has been notorious for running his players into the ground. That’s the last thing he can do this time around as the Knicks have a real chance to play deep into the playoffs. As the playoffs approach, health is wealth for this time.

As seen by many of the past NBA champions, the healthiest team is usually the last one standing. Thibodeau will have to change his style and allow his players to rest up if they want to be healthy come playoff time.

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