Knicks’ Julius Randle still fighting through ankle injury

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New York Knicks
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle has not gotten off to the start that has been expected of him with the New York Knicks this season, but he has risen above early struggles and is currently fighting through injury yet again according to reports.

Knicks: Randle Refusing to Let Injuries Slow Him Down

Per Stefan Bondy of the New York Post, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau had this to say about Randle battling his ankle infirmity from offseason surgery:

“You almost come to expect that from him. If he can go, he’s going,” Thibodeau said. “And I love that about him. He wanted to get out there, and he warmed up early to see how he would feel. And then he got with the medical people. But Julius, he gives you what he has. He doesn’t take days off.”

Randle underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle back on June 3 and recovered quickly enough to participate in training camp and preseason. Though he made it back to the floor in time for the start of the regular season, Randle has not looked like his normal self through much of the early NBA year.

Nevertheless, Randle has made it his business to be out there on the floor for the Knicks, appearing in 19 games. His levels of aggression have increased over the last 10 games, and as a result, his scoring has improved, though he still has some work to do in the efficiency department.

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Randle’s Intensity From Last Season and the Offseason Emerging at a Crucial Time of the Year

In training camp, Randle’s teammates lauded him for his mentality in practice and how it showed in his energy levels and infectious pace on the floor. What they saw leading up to opening night is starting to burgeon, but Randle is still apparently ways away from a full recovery from his surgery.

The Knicks have enjoyed much of their success behind great play from Jalen Brunson and a strong start from RJ Barrett. Now, as Randle looks to turn the corner and continue to take strides toward the 25-10-5 player he was a year ago, his relentless work ethic will be a major determinant in whether or not he can return to that form and exceed it.

Currently, Randle has improved his season averages to 20.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. His three-point shot has looked off, but that can also be attributed to establishing proper footing off the catch and off the bounce. As his poor 27.9 percent clip from deep ascends (presumably), so will the rest of his numbers, and the number that matters most — wins for the Knicks.