Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson to miss time following ankle surgery, will be re-evaluated in 8-10 weeks

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Apr 23, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) dunks during game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In what was turning into a breakout season for Mitchell Robinson, things have taken a turn for the worst as the injury bug strikes the New York Knicks’ big man once again.

Mitchell Robinson to undergo ankle surgery

On Monday, the New York Knicks announced that center Mitchell Robinson will undergo ankle surgery this week, and will be re-evaluated in 8-10 weeks. Robinson likely sustained the injury during Friday’s loss to the Boston Celtics. At halftime, Robinson was taken to the locker room for X-rays but returned during the third quarter.

Robinson’s injury is a big blow to not only the Knicks but also Robinson himself, who was in the midst of a breakout season. Prior to his injury, Robinson was averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, and 5.3 offensive rebounds per game, the most in the NBA. In addition, Robinson was averaging 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, putting himself in early contention for an All-Defense team.

Injuries have plagued Robinson’s entire six-year career up to this point. Robinson has played 65 or more games in a season just twice in his career, playing 66 in his rookie season in the 2018-19 season, and 72 games in the 2021-22 season. This latest injury projects to have Robinson out until after the all-star break.

Who will step up for the Knicks?

With Robinson out, backup Isaiah Hartenstein will have big shoes to fill. Fortunately for the Knicks, Hartenstein has proven to be one of the league’s best backup big men, averaging 5.3 points and 5.6 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game off the bench this season. Hartenstein has proven to be capable of stepping up in Robinson’s absence in the past and will be dependent on him moving forward.