Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson takes an encouraging step in rehab with a potential return on the horizon

NBA: New York Knicks at Charlotte Hornets
Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell Robinson is steadily progressing in his journey toward getting back on the floor for the New York Knicks this season. Stefan Bondy of the New York Post reported that Robinson has already begun shooting in practice and that he’ll be cleared to start running immediately following the All-Star break.

Knicks: Mitchell Robinson is almost ready to reach stage 2 of the recovery process

Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau spoke on the team wanting to bring Robinson along without jumping the gun. Robinson has several stages to clear prior to re-entering the lineup, but coach Thibodeau is encouraged that he’ll graduate from his current stage without setbacks.

Robinson originally went down with a stress fracture in his left ankle on Dec. 8 against the Boston Celtics and has not seen the floor since then. Following surgery later that month, Robinson avoided a season-ending diagnosis and was projected to return at the tail end of the regular season, which he is on pace to achieve.

Robinson’s return could be the driving force that solidifies the Knicks as contenders in the East

Prior to going down, Robinson was leading the league with 5.3 offensive rebounds per game and helped establish the Knicks’ imposing interior defense. The Knicks have thrived in his absence with several role players stepping up, but Robinson’s insertion back into the rotation will only amplify what’s already working for them.

The Knicks are also dealing with injuries to Julius Randle (shoulder), OG Anunoby (elbow), Quentin Grimes (hand, leg), and now Jalen Brunson (ankle). Robinson’s progression is a bit of good news in the midst of a whirlwind of injuries threatening to halt the Knicks’ 16-3 hot streak.

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