The Knicks lose Mitchell Robinson to the postseason due to an ankle injury

Another injury has hit the New York Knicks.

Mitchell Robinson has a “stress injury” in his left ankle and will be out for at least six to eight weeks, the team announced Tuesday. He won’t be back this season.

The Knicks quarterback, who appeared hobbled during Game 1 of New York’s second-round series against the Indiana Pacers, which the Indiana Pacers won 121-117, underwent surgery on the same ankle in early December. He’s been in and out of the lineup ever since, most recently during a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

A league source said Robinson called the medical team after practice on Tuesday and underwent tests in the late afternoon that showed he had a strain. The plan now is to avoid surgery and rehabilitate the injury instead, the source said.

Robinson’s absence puts more pressure on the group’s starting center, Isaiah Hartenstein, who stepped up to the first unit when Robinson was first injured in December. Precious Achiuwa, who took over during Robinson’s previous injuries, will once again serve as the backup center.

Robinson was in the midst of a career season before suffering his first ankle injury over the winter, making his all-defensive debut as he led the NBA in every offensive rebounding statistic imaginable. His dominance in the paint became part of the Knicks’ identity. The Dodgers couldn’t get to the rim, either because he was blocking shots or stopping catches, and they couldn’t keep him off the boards.

The Knicks are the best offensive rebounding team in the NBA. With Robinson, this goes to another level.

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Now, the unfortunate trend is dealing a final blow.

Robinson’s ankle injuries continue to resurface. He first injured his left ankle on December 8 in a game against the Boston Celtics. He underwent X-rays at halftime, and doctors cleared him to return. But he played just the first four minutes of the third quarter, fighting through obvious discomfort, before exiting for good. He underwent surgery a few days later.

The concern upon his return on March 27 was his health. Robinson wasn’t able to run and jump most of the time he was out, so the Knicks kept him on strict minutes restrictions for his first eight games. In Game 9, the penultimate game of the regular season, he ran for 25 minutes, the most he had played at the time in more than four months.

The next game, Robinson was forced to sit out the second half because he re-aggravated his ankle. This would become a topic.

He returned for Game 1 of the playoffs, rushing for 31 minutes in Game 1, but re-injured his ankle at some point during Game 3. It’s unclear if he was injured on the play when Philadelphia center Joel Embiid grabbed Robinson’s leg, pulling him down for a flagrant-1 foul.

Robinson missed the next game. He returned to play 25 minutes during the Game 5 loss to the Sixers. The Knicks later ended the series. Over the past two games, Robinson has worked hard for his left side.

Strain injuries are usually due to overuse.

Robinson sent two tweets after announcing his season-ending injury.

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“This is so ridiculous it’s like I don’t even know what to say right now!” The first one to read.

The follow-up came moments later.

“This is not over yet!” Read the tweet. “I will seek revenge.”

He deleted the second post shortly after sending it.

Robinson isn’t the first Knicks player out of the lineup.

All-Star forward Julius Randle dislocated his shoulder at the end of January and has not played since. He tried to rehabilitate the injury but had to undergo surgery in April.

Bojan Bogdanovic injured his left foot during the Knicks-76ers series, colliding with Philadelphia winger Nicolas Batum, who inadvertently rolled Bogdanovic’s leg while chasing a loose ball. The 35-year-old forward underwent season-ending surgery last week.

The Knicks’ rotation has already been wiped clean.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau used just seven players over the final two games of the 76ers series. In the first game against the Pacers, he used eight, adding Achiuwa to replace Bogdanovic. Now, Achiuwa should slide into the backup center spot. If Thibodeau sticks with an eight-man rotation, Alec Burks, who struggled after the Knicks acquired him from the Detroit Pistons midseason, becomes the most obvious option.

Robinson averaged 5.6 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 24.8 minutes during the regular season. He averaged 2.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 19.1 minutes during the postseason.

(Top image: Sarah Steer/Getty Images)

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