Knicks star guard undergoes surgery on fractured left hand

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) flexes his left hand during the third quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug reached the best of the New York Knicks by the time they were eliminated from the playoffs. The team announced Wednesday morning that star guard Jalen Brunson underwent successful surgery on his left hand that he fractured in their Game 7 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, and will be re-evaluated in approximately six-to-eight weeks.

Brunson was trying to lead his team on the comeback trail after entering the halftime break down by 15 until he tried to swipe the ball loose with his shooting hand on a Tyrese Haliburton fastbreak early in the third quarter and made incidental contact with his knee. He would play the next few possessions before subbing out with 4:06 left in the quarter and then not returning the rest of the way. New York would ultimately lose and see their season end early.

The Knicks were banged up even before Brunson got hurt

May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) flexes his left hand during the third quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) flexes his left hand during the third quarter of game seven of the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Even before Brunson’s injury, the Knicks were already missing several key players to significant injuries. They entered the playoffs still missing Julius Randle, and finished missing OG Anunoby, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Mitchell Robinson on top of that.

Brunson had also been dealing with a foot injury most of the second round, and Josh Hart suffered an abdominal injury in Game 6 against the Pacers that would hinder his effectiveness in Game 7.

Jalen Brunson had a historic postseason performance

May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) celebrates in the fourth quarter  after scoring against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) celebrates in the fourth quarter after scoring against the Indiana Pacers during game two of the second round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the injuries, Brunson was on a record-scoring pace throughout the playoffs, which was instrumental in their first-round series win over the Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 32.4 points and 7.5 assists while shooting a true shooting percentage of 53.6% in his 13 playoff games this year. He had five 40-point games in the playoffs, including a stretch where he eclipsed the 40-point mark in four consecutive games, something that only three other players in NBA history had previously accomplished in playoff history.

His regular season performance is one to be remembered as well, as it included his first-ever All-Star appearance and will certainly include an All-NBA team appearance as well, another first for the former second-round pick.

Brunson’s second season in New York is unlike anything Knicks fans have seen out of a guard since the playing days of Walt Frazier. It is unfortunate that it ended in not only a serious injury but without a championship as well. The hope is that next season, the injury bug won’t bite them nearly as hard and that Brunson can lead this team to new heights.

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