Report: Knicks’ Julius Randle aiming for Game 1 return

Kawhi Leonard, Julius Randle, New York Knicks
Feb 4, 2023; New York, New York, USA; LA Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (2) looks to drive past New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks All-Star power forward Julius Randle is progressing well in his rehab from a left ankle sprain and is aiming to return to action in Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, per Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico.

“Multiple sources have told Hoops Wire that Randle is targeting a return for Game 1,” Amico said in his report. “But for now, his status appears to be very much in limbo.”

Randle suffered the initial injury on March 29 against the Miami Heat when he stepped on Heat center Bam Adebayo’s foot while grabbing a rebound.

The Knicks need Julius Randle back in action:

The Knicks decided to sit Randle out for the final five games of the regular season and are still on track to reevaluate him before the start of the playoffs. New York went 3-2 in the games Randle missed.

Prior to the injury, Randle was amongst a small handful of players to have started in every game during the regular season. His 2022-23 season is expected to be decorated with accolades and awards, which already includes an All-Star appearance and a new career-high in points per game at 25.1.

While Obi Toppin performed relatively well in Randle’s absence, the Knicks are going to need Randle at full strength for their upcoming playoff series, as Donovan Mitchell and his young Cavaliers squad are no easy out for any team.

Will the Knicks have Randle for the start of their playoff run? That answer is still to be determined, but his iron horse work ethic gives Knicks fans a glimmer of hope that he will battle to play in Game 1 on Saturday.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @DylanBacker_

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