Knicks HC Tom Thibodeau says Nerlens Noel is doubtful for season opener vs. Celtics

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Nerlens Noel drives to basket
Nerlens Noel drives to basket

Good timing for Mitchell Robinson to be back.

With Nerlens Noel still dealing with lingering knee pain, Tom Thibodeau told reporters after Sunday's practice that the center is "doubtful" for Wednesday's season opener.

“He’s just gotta be patient and let him work his way through it,” Thibodeau said.

But the Knicks now do have Robinson back, who played 27 minutes in Friday's preseason game against the Detroit Pistons. It was his first in-game action since he fractured his foot in March.

He looked fatigued toward the end of the game, but the main takeaways for him are all positive, and Thibodeau said the Knicks "really like where he is."

"Mitch was good. Went through everything, felt god, was in yesterday, just continue on," Thibodeau said.

The Knicks kick off their 2021-22 campaign at Madison Square Garden at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Last year, Noel averaged 5.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in 24.2 minutes per game.