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Knicks forward Julius Randle expected to miss two weeks with ankle sprain

Randle will likely be back in time for the playoffs if the Knicks can avoid the play-in game.

Miami Heat v New York Knicks
Julius Randle of the New York Knicks walks after getting injured during the second quarter of the game against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on March 29, 2023 in New York City.
Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle is expected to miss two weeks with a sprained ankle he suffered Wednesday against the Miami Heat, according to the team. This will knock him out for the final week of the regular season and the play-in tournament but the Knicks are in a position to avoid that scenario.

Randle has been a driving force for New York’s playoff push this season, averaging 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He’s formed a strong tandem with Jalen Brunson for the Knicks. After struggling to catch on with the Lakers and Pelicans, Randle appears to have found a home in New York. He’s still got a few more years left on his contract and will certainly be in play for an extension once that deal is up.

For now, the Knicks likely use Opi Tobbin and R.J. Barrett in the power forward role. Jericho Sims likely continues being a backup to Mitchell Robinson, as the Knicks shift towards slightly smaller lineups with Randle out.

New York is currently fifth in the East and has a four-game cushion over the No. 7 Heat. If the Knicks can avoid the play-in games, there’s a chance they’ll have Randle for the first round of the playoffs.