Update: Randle is officially doubtful to return to the game, so the Knicks are going to have to try to finish off this series without him. Look for Robinson, Hartenstein and Toppin to be bigger factors in the second half for New York.
The Knicks say Julius Randle (sprained left ankle) is doubtful to return.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 27, 2023
New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle went to the locker room in Game 5 Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers after suffering an ankle injury. Randle entered the playoffs with an ankle issue from the regular season, but it hasn’t cost him any time in this series so far.
Julius Randle is down & seems to be grabbing his left ankle. Randle missed 2 weeks at the end of the season due to a left ankle sprain & returned for G1 of NYK-CLE. After a few minutes on the floor, Randle got up, walked off the floor with a slight limp & went to locker room— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) April 27, 2023
As Begley notes in his tweet, Randle missed two weeks at the end of the regular season recovering from the injury and may have pushed himself to be ready for Game 1 of this series. However, it doesn’t seem like there was any aggravation for Randle on this injury and was more of an unfortunate circumstance. The Knicks currently hold a 10-point lead over the Cavaliers at halftime as they look to close out the series tonight.
If Randle is unable to return to the game, look for Obi Toppin to fill some minutes at the power forward spot. The Knicks have been able to bully the Cavaliers down low, so Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson could also be on the court together if Tom Thibodeau decides he wants to keep dominating on the glass.