Advertisement

Knicks forward Julius Randle will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

Randle has been out of the Knicks' lineup since Jan. 27

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle is done for the season and will undergo surgery on his right shoulder, the team announced on Thursday. He will be re-evaluated in five months.

Randle has been out of the Knicks' lineup since Jan. 27 after dislocating his shoulder. He has spent the past two-plus months rehabbing in an attempt to avoid surgery and return for the playoffs, but doctors warned that there was too much instability in his shoulder to allow him to play again this season without risking permanent damage.

Before exiting the Knicks' lineup, the 29-year-old Randle averaged 24 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5 assists per game.

At the time of Randle's injury, the Knicks were 29-17 and sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Following Tuesday's defeat to the Miami Heat — their third straight loss — New York is in fifth place and has gone 15-14 in Randle's absence. Their distance from the first-place Boston Celtics has gone from a six-game difference to 16 with Boston's 24-5 record over that same span.

Doctors told Julius Randle there was too much risk for permanent damage if he returned early from a dislocated shoulder he suffered in January. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Doctors told Julius Randle there was too much risk for permanent damage if he returned early from a dislocated shoulder he suffered in January. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) (Mitchell Leff via Getty Images)

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Randle, a three-time NBA All-Star, is expected to be ready for the start of the 2024-25 season. Having surgery now will allow him enough recovery time to target opening night for a return.

The Knicks are seeking a third postseason appearance in four years under head coach Tom Thibodeau. They are currently just ahead of a play-in game spot with seven games to go in the regular season.

After acquiring OG Anunoby in December, the Knicks had hoped to be an impactful presence in the Eastern Conference. They were 12-2 with Anunoby and Randle in the lineup, posting the NBA's top defensive numbers over that stretch.

But Anunoby has dealt with injury issues of his own, having played just three games since the night Randle suffered his dislocated shoulder. Anunoby is dealing with what the Knicks called "right elbow tendinopathy" and there is no timetable for a return.