Knicks’ Kemba Walker Out Again vs. Mavericks, still from day to day

Tom Thibodeau reviewed his pregame ritual of reviewing the injury report for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, and he happily cleared up the question marks surrounding Nerlen’s Noel and Taj Gibson, announcing that they would be available to play.

But once again, he had to declare Kemba Walker out of order, accompanied by the usual addition that he is close to returning and day to day. But the reality was that with the Knicks desperately in need of his services, he was out of the game for a seventh game in a row.

With Julius Randle struggling through a strange stretch where he has struggled with the fans and unsurprisingly only scored two points on Monday – the lowest result of his Knicks period – the Knicks could use his leadership, his playmaking and even his smile. But with Derrick Rose still rehabilitating from ankle surgery and Walker out, Randle is left without a real point guard to help him.

The Knicks played the 42nd game of the season on Wednesday and passed the center of the season, and Walker has only played in 24 games where he is missing 18. Last year, even though he was restricted from playing back-to-back games by the Celtics, he played in 42 matches where he stood out with 30 all season, a number he is already approaching with 40 matches left on the program.

“He’s close,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see where it is tomorrow. He’s not quite there.

“I think the soreness is pretty good. It’s just screwing it all up again. He knows it – he does more and more so we have to see how it goes tomorrow when we get him in and get some work done. in, see how it goes answers. That’s really how it reacts the day after he’s loaded it up. “

The Knicks have been vague as to what the problem is exactly, calling it a sore left knee. He sat out 10 games in a row early this season – the first one rest day in the back of back-to-back matches and then nine matches referred to the bench by Thibodeau, who decided the starting lineup did not work with him and he was not a bench player.

When he returned to the lineup in an act of desperation with COVID and injuries that left the Knicks in need of a point guard, he played 37 minutes and scored 29 points in Boston. He followed that up with 40 minutes and 21 points, then 43 minutes and 44 points against Washington and a 33-minute triple-double in Minnesota. But the next night in Detroit at the back of a back-to-back set, he played just 20 minutes.

The next game, in Oklahoma City on December 31, the Knicks said he adjusted his knee in the warm-up before the game and would not be available. And since then, there have been a number of announcements that he is close, but he remains the one player besides Rose who has not returned to action.

This is likely to change how the Knicks use him. After not playing back-to-backs in Boston last year, Walker began the year by saying he did not want that plan in place this time, instead of measuring it by emotion. Now the Knicks might have to throw up a warning flag.

“We will see, the same, whatever he can handle when he comes back,” Thibodeau said. “(Medical staff recommendation) is your first order. You always see what they recommend and you will follow their guidelines. We would make sure it calmed down completely and reload him. When he is ready to go, he is ready to go.

“I think (the medical staff) will approach it in the same way. They will talk to him and see where he is. If he can go, he will go. If he can not go, if it is smarter to give it to him. played off, give him that game away. Right now we’re got guys back so we have good depth. The player always has something to say to it. The doctors have something to say to it. They want to talk to Kemba, see where he is. “They want to talk to the doctors and they’ll put a plan together.”

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