Julius Randle Will Have Season-Ending Shoulder Surgery

The New York Knicks currently sit in fifth in the East, a half-game behind Orlando for fourth and one game behind Cleveland for third, slipping down the standings amid a three-game losing streak. Ever since the All-Star break, the Knicks have just been trying to hang on until they got healthy again, with Jalen Brunson carrying an immense load with Julius Randle and OG Anunoby sidelined with injuries.

Anunoby briefly returned from his elbow injury, but has missed the last eight games as it continues to bother him and the Knicks remain vague on what exactly is going on. Randle, meanwhile, has been rehabbing from a dislocated shoulder and hoped to return soon to give the team a boost going into the playoffs, but was not able to fully recover and will now have season-ending surgery.

Per Woj, specialists warned Randle that not having surgery and returning to the court could cause permanent damage to his shoulder.

The Knicks were hopeful to get healthy at the right time after Randle and Anunoby suffered their injuries at the end of January and beginning of February, but will now at least be without their All-Star forward for a playoff run and no one is quite sure when their big trade acquisition will be back in the lineup. It’s disappointing news for a Knicks team that certainly would’ve had a chance at a run to the conference finals if they were fully healthy, particularly given the shakiness of the teams around them in the East below the Celtics.

Now, the path to a deep playoff run gets much more difficult, but they can hold out hope Anunoby is able to return and play every day in the postseason and that will give them enough to challenge for a series win (or two).