Knicks absorb tough Mitchell Robinson injury news

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Mar 27, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) battles Milwaukee Bucks forward Axel Toupane (66) for control of the ball during the first quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Losing big man Mitchell Robinson will prove to be significant for the New York Knicks, who desperately need his influence and impact on the floor. While New York went toe to toe with the Miami Heat on Monday evening in a defensive contest, they missed Robinson’s energy and ability to score from the paint.

Robinson had been recovering from a fractured hand he suffered a few weeks ago, and in his first game back fractured the fifth metatarsal in his foot, requiring surgery.

Losing Robinson will force the Knicks to rely on Taj Gibson and the Nerlens Noel more frequently, and while both are capable of holding it down in his absence, their upside is limited significantly.

The injury was a result of Robinson battling with Milwaukee center Brook Lopez in the post. As the pass came in-bounds to Lopez, Mitchell tried to swipe it away, landing awkwardly on his right foot and immediately collapsing to the ground in obvious pain. He was taken out and underwent MRIs, which indicated a fracture.

A timeline for Robinson’s return has not yet been set, so he could be out for the remainder of the season with about two months left until the playoffs commence. This health-trend of his is a bit worrisome, especially since he only has one year left on his contract. New York has a club option for the 2021 season, which they must pick up by June 29. He will count $1.8 million against the salary, a low number that will likely see the Knicks retain him moving forward.

This season, Robinson is averaging 8.3 points, 8.1 total rebounds, and is shooting .653 from the field. He’s also averaging a career-high 1.1 steals, showing off his versatility and defensive prowess.

Ultimately, the Knicks see Robinson as a building block and part of their future, but if he can’t remain healthy, they will have to begin entertaining alternative avenues.

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