OG Anunoby has elbow surgery, Knicks say the forward will miss at least 3 weeks

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) shoots over Miami Heat guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. (11) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK (AP) — OG Anunoby has undergone right elbow surgery and will miss at least three weeks, leaving the New York Knicks without their entire starting frontcourt through the All-Star break.

The Knicks said Thursday that Anunoby had a loose bone fragment removed from his elbow in the procedure. They didn't say when it was performed and coach Tom Thibodeau said he didn't know.

Anunoby has missed the last five games with what the team originally called right elbow inflammation before changing it to bone spur inflammation in their injury report for their game Thursday against Dallas.

“We tried to approach it with rest first and then you trust the medical, you trust him and this was the best course of action,” Thibodeau said. “And we’re optimistic that it rolls into the All-Star break, so it seemed to make the most sense to all of us.”

The Knicks said Anunoby would be evaluated in three weeks. All-Star forward Julius Randle is sidelined by a separated shoulder and center Mitchell Robinson is recovering from ankle surgery and set to begin doing work on the court after the break, which starts Feb. 16.

Anunoby's acquisition from Toronto sent the Knicks soaring up the standings, as they went 14-2 in January after he made his debut in the starting lineup on New Year's Day. Thibodeau wasn't sure if Anunoby was already dealing with the injury when he arrived.

“It’s hard to say, like, when it exactly happened because it was the inflammation first. These things are not uncommon,” Thibodeau said. “When you play in 50 games, most players are nicked up with something this time of year. So it was inflammation and we thought we could get through it and unfortunately that didn’t happen. So then you gather the information, you consult the experts and then you make a decision.”

Anunoby has averaged 15.6 points in 14 games since the deal that sent RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Raptors.