Should the Knicks be more concerned about OG Anunoby’s elbow injury?

New York Knicks forward OG Anunoby (8) during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks have been missing multiple key pieces over the past week, but could OG Anunoby’s recent ailment be more concerning than it appears?

Anunoby has missed the team’s last three games as he deals with right elbow inflammation, an injury that head coach Tom Thibodeau said the forward has dealt with already, according to the New York Post. It first popped up on Monday prior to the Knicks’ 113-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets when he was a late scratch after experiencing discomfort during warmups.

One could have speculated that resting him against Charlotte was a move of extreme precaution in the immediate aftermath of All-Star Julius Randle’s injury. But now that speculation can be erased as the injury appears to be more serious than initially expected.

How many more games will Anunoby miss?

As of now, Thibodeau has reiterated that the injury is considered day-to-day, but having missed multiple games due to the injury, there is certainly a reason for concern to be raised.

Despite the Knicks continuing their winning ways in Anunoby’s absence, they are already without Randle for at least the next two to three weeks and haven’t had defensive center Mitchell Robinson since December. They were also without Quentin Grimes on Thursday against the Pacers, making the team essentially play only seven guys for all 48 minutes.

The Knicks’ depth has taken a massive hit

While the team can stay afloat in the meantime thanks to Jalen Brunson’s excellence, they still need to be as healthy as can be to make a serious run at the championship. Their depth is increasingly thin, and Anunoby’s size allows for him to help carry the load of virtually anybody for a stretch of a game, something they are missing dearly right now.

Without him, the Knicks are forced to not only play guys for a large amount of minutes, but also to use rotations that have not been commonly used up to this point this season.

Despite the adversity, the Knicks keep on winning

The Knicks have shown no signs of letting up despite the adversity they are facing, as they have won nine consecutive games and are just a half a game back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, they are missing Anunoby’s presence tremendously, so they are most certainly hopeful that he can return to action sooner rather than later.

Other concerns could be that this injury will continue to hinder Anunoby for quite some time, and the last thing the Knicks need is for another key player to have to miss a significant amount of time.

The Knicks have Friday off before they take on the Los Angeles Lakers at Madison Square Garden. It is unclear if Anunoby will make his return for that game, though his injury will be closely monitored in the coming days.

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