Knicks Julius Randle’s season-ending surgery leaves questions

Something is wrong in Madison Square Garden, where Julius RandleAfter dislocating his right shoulder on January 27, his status was misrepresented.

On March 25, head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that Randle had no hiccups in his rehabilitation and was working on strengthening his shoulder for further recovery from the injury.

This is what Thibodeau has shared several times since Randle’s injury: No failure. No contact. Shoulders need strengthening.

However, Randle — per Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes on Thursday — said he went through a full-contact session “five weeks ago” and re-injured his shoulder as a result, keeping him out. During the season, he is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery as of Thursday afternoon.

“I want everyone to know that I did my best to come back this season,” Randle told Haynes. “It was my intention to play now. That’s why I didn’t opt ​​for surgery when it happened. But the reason I ended up having surgery was about five weeks ago, I went through a full-contact session and re-injured my shoulder. My s–t wasn’t stable .I felt like I was in the same position when I first posted it and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.

“I don’t regret going through this process. I should be given a chance to get back on the field for my team. I thought I could. This contact session broke him. “

Here’s where things get murky: Haynes went on TNT — the network that aired the Knicks’ Thursday night game against the Sacramento Kings — and read parts of Randle’s above quote verbatim from his cell phone.

He then changed the quote used in his story from Randle “went through a full contact session” to Randle “went through a full contact session with pads.”

Haynes then re-recorded his segment on TNT to add “pads” to his appearance. He recited the same quote from a cell phone in his first appearance without the words “in the pillows”.

There are many things wrong here:

— There is no such thing as “full contact in the pads”. Either the pads limit contact or there are no pads and the session is full contact.

— KThibodeau clarified that Randle’s contact sessions were with “pads,” not “pads.” Randle never wore pads in practice. Instead, assistant coaches used pads to simulate contact: “It’s real,” Thibodeau said. “So you can control the contact and you can control how much you give it. And the idea kept progressing, give him more, if he can handle it, give him more.”

— Randle said he re-injured his shoulder five weeks before April 4, which would have been Feb. 28, before Thibodeau said there was no setback.

— Feb. 28 also marks just one month after dislocating his shoulder, which is a pretty quick turnaround in making contact.
Thibodeau has been consistent that Randle hasn’t been cleared for contact yet — but Randle says he made full contact more than a month ago. Asked if Randle went through a pad-controlled contact session, Thibodeau said no

— Thibodeau said he doesn’t know the details of what kind of surgery Randle is undergoing — and the Knicks wouldn’t make their training or medical staff available for comment.

It doesn’t add up.

Thibodeau tried to explain the discrepancy between his report and Randle’s before Thursday’s announcement against the Kings.

“I didn’t — the thing is: He was passing and that’s where we talked about him getting contact, but it was controlled contact. It was with pillows, wasn’t it? So some days he felt better than others,” he said. “Finally, he had to trust his heart to be able to play and play the way he plays, which he is: he’s very physical and aggressive with his shoulders.

“So if he can’t use his shoulder then he can’t play – he can’t change his style of play. So once he got to the point where he felt like he was going to have a good day, then it wouldn’t be so good.

“After all, I trust Julius. He has to trust his body. So he took it as far as he could go and then went to a couple of specialists and felt that was the best way to go. So I watched it work and I think some of you saw it too. I don’t want a guy who doesn’t feel comfortable. I don’t think this is right. So we will support him. “

Thibodeau then tried to explain how Randle injured his shoulder.

“So he goes through contact every day. We felt it [there] There will be pain. If it breaks a little, you want to see where it is the next day,” he said. “And that was the main thing. We said, “Okay, we’ll look at it the next day.” And then if he doesn’t feel better – if he gets a little better and then he has another setback – it tells him that it can’t be done. So when he goes out the first time, he gets hit again, now you have to close.

So I think he’s looking at that. And he wants to give the team everything he’s got, right? So it’s not easy. It was not an easy decision. He gathered as much information as he could, went through the process, and then this is the best decision right now.

“So that decision has been made, we won’t talk about it anymore. We’re going to focus on what we need to focus on, which is winning the next game. He is. It really is that simple.”

Randle is the latest player to return to action in some form for the Knicks before the loss took him out of the frame.

OG Anunoby underwent elbow surgery in early February and returned about a month and a half later, only to aggravate the elbow three games into the Knicks’ March 14-21 West Coast road trip.

But remember: Nix first ruled out elbow inflammation, then abruptly changed his status to bone spur irritation before announcing he had already undergone elbow surgery.

Anunoby has been out since March 16 — but Thibodeau said the rookie forward is bonding again and has moved into five-on-five drills.

“OG is doing well,” Thibodeau said before Thursday’s release. “He’s getting close. So we’re optimistic — cautiously optimistic — about that.

There’s also Mitchell Robinson, who had ankle surgery after a stress fracture suffered in the Dec. 8 loss to the Boston Celtics. The Knicks requested a disabled player exception only to have the league deny the exception on the grounds that Robinson could recover in time to return to the team this season.

Robinson returned on March 27, playing 12 minutes against the Toronto Raptors, then tweaked his surgically repaired ankle before playing all five minutes in an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Robinson then sat out the Knicks’ one-point loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder and was listed as questionable before Thursday’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

Randle isn’t coming back this season, and he’s made a big effort in his comeback attempt to help the Knicks chase two straight games in the second round of the playoffs.

However, how and when he reached that point remains unclear — and things got more confusing after the Knicks ruled him out for the season on Thursday.

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