Dom. Feb 25th, 2024

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle took a hard fall Saturday and suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the closing minutes of the team’s 125-109 victory over the Miami Heat, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

X-rays didn’t show much damage, but an MRI exam was scheduled for later Saturday, the source said.

With just over four minutes remaining in the contest, Randle drove to the basket when Miami wing Jaime Jaquez Jr. slid over defensively in hopes of drawing a charging call on the Knicks star. Randle stayed down on the Madison Square Garden floor for a moment in pain then had his teammates help pull him up using his left arm only.

When he got to his feet, he grimaced, motioning over to the Knicks’ training staff that he couldn’t move his right arm. Anthony Goenaga, the team’s head trainer, appeared to try to help Randle by popping his right arm back into its socket, but a hunched-over Randle then jogged back to the locker room, unable to take the free throws he had earned as a result of the Jaquez foul.

It was a clear sign that Randle, one of the NBA’s toughest and most physical players, was in an unusual amount of pain.

«You knew for him to do that [it might be serious],» said coach Tom Thibodeau, who spoke before the Knicks had a clear sense of how bad the injury was. «He’s a guy who plays through things, and that’s what you love about him. He’s a warrior.»

Asked how concerned he was about the star forward, Thibodeau said, «Very.»

«It was an, ‘Oh s—‘ reaction,» said Jalen Brunson of watching Randle go down. «We don’t want to see that from anybody, especially him with how he’s been playing. He means a lot to us. So for him to go back there, obviously it’s not ideal.»

The timing of Randle’s injury is less than ideal for the Knicks, who have been the NBA’s hottest team since the calendar turned to 2024 and moved to 12-2 in that span with Saturday’s win. Randle, coming off an All-NBA campaign last season, is an All-Star candidate this season and is averaging 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game for the fourth-place Knicks.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much time Randle would miss due to the injury.

When Brunson played for the Dallas Mavericks, he dislocated his right shoulder during a game in February 2020 and missed weeks as a result before opting to have surgery to repair a torn labrum on the same arm.

«It was pretty painful; I can’t lie,» Brunson said.

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