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Knicks’ Julius Randle says he reinjured shoulder five weeks ago: ‘Tried everything’ to avoid surgery

SportsKnicks' Julius Randle says he reinjured shoulder five weeks ago: 'Tried everything' to avoid surgery


New York Knicks forward Julius Randle, who will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery on his injured right shoulder, told Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes that he wanted to get back on the court but reinjured his shoulder in a full-contact practice five weeks ago, which “derailed” his return-to-play plan.

“I want everyone to know that I did everything in my power to get back this season,” Randle told Bleacher Report. “That was my intention: to be playing right now. That’s why I didn’t opt for surgery when it happened. But what caused me to finally go through with getting surgery was: About five weeks ago, I went through a full-contact session in pads and reinjured my shoulder. My shit wasn’t stable. I felt like I was in the same state when I first dislocated it, and It’s been an uphill battle ever since.”

Randle dislocated his shoulder on Jan. 27 in a game against the Miami Heat. Rather than getting surgery immediately, he tried to work his way back. On Feb. 21, he told reporters that he was “focused on trying to avoid” surgery and had “heard many different opinions.” On Thursday, in the interview with Bleacher Report, he elaborated.

“I visited a couple of shoulder specialists,” Randle said. “One said I 100% needed to get surgery. Another one said I’m at risk, but if I dislocated it again, I could damage it permanently.”

Randle said he decided not to have surgery right away because he “didn’t want to go through. ‘What if I could play?’ I wanted to know for sure if I could or not.” Now he knows for sure.

“I don’t have any regrets about going through with this process,” Randle said. “I had to give myself a chance to get back on the court for my team. I thought I could. That contact session derailed it.”

The Knicks announced Thursday that Randle would be reevaluated in five months. He told Bleacher Report that he expects to be fully healthy by the start of next season. After a 120-109 win against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, New York is 45-31, with an identical record to the fourth-place Orlando Magic, half a game behind the third-place Cleveland Cavaliers and two games behind the second-place Milwaukee Bucks. The postseason is less than two weeks away, and, despite Randle, OG Anunoby and Mitchell Robinson — a theoretical starting frontcourt that has not actually played together — missing missing much of the regular season, the Knicks rank No. 8 in the NBA in offense, No. 9 in defense and No. 4 in net rating.

Until last season, Randle had only appeared in five playoff games and had never won a playoff series. This year’s team, which looked like a juggernaut in January and has since gotten Robinson back from injury and acquired Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks in a trade, is more complete than last year’s, assuming Anunoby is able to return from an elbow injury. In this context, surgery is “a tough pill to swallow,” Randle said, but his shoulder “wasn’t getting right,” and despite his best efforts, “it just didn’t work out, unfortunately.”

“Choosing to get surgery was my only option at this point,” Randle said. “It’s frustrating, but I’m at peace knowing I tried everything.”

Looking for more NBA coverage? John Gonzalez, Bill Reiter, Ashley Nicole Moss and special guests dive deep into the league’s biggest storylines daily on the Beyond the Arc podcast.





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