On Monday, the New York Knicks announced that center Mitchell Robinson will have surgery on his left ankle. Robinson suffered a stress fracture in Friday's loss to the Boston Celtics. The surgery will happen this week. Robinson will be re-evaluated in eight to ten weeks.
“Been battling stuff my whole life; some days I feel like I take 10 steps ahead, and others feel like I took 20 steps back; even when I do what I’m supposed to god throws these battles at me that feel like they’re unbeatable no matter what I do,” Robinson wrote on Snapchat.
Robinson is averaging 6.2 points on 59.2 percent shooting, 10.3 rebounds, which is a team-high, and
1.3 blocks. He leads the NBA with 112 offensive rebounds. Robinson being out is a huge loss for the Knicks, as with him on the floor, New York has allowed the third least points per game at 108.7 and has a defensive rating of 112.8 (10th in the NBA). He is the Knicks' best player on defense and their defense could struggle a little while he's out.
Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has confidence in Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims. Hartenstein is averaging 5.3 points and 5.6 rebounds this season and had a season-high 16 rebounds Friday against the Celtics.
“It’s hard to replace a player like Mitch individually. Very hard to do. But collectively we can,” Thibodeau said. “We’re capable of playing great team defense, we’ve been an outstanding rebounding team the entire year, so we just have to do it more as a group and that’s going to be our challenge.”
If Hartenstein and Sims can play well, the Knicks will be fine with Robinson out. The Knicks are currently 13-9, good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Cover Image Courtesy of Brad Penner, USA TODAY and All Knicks