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Knicks' OG Anunoby likely out for rest of road trip, maybe longer with elbow flare up

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks

OG Anunoby was not in the Bay Area Monday night to watch the Knicks’ road win over the Warriors, and he's likely going to miss the last game of the team's road trip — in Denver on Thursday — with a flare-up in his surgically repaired elbow, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Monday night.

Anunoby, who had surgery on Feb. 8 to remove a loose particle from his right elbow and missed 18 games recovering, played in three games before inflammation in the elbow caught up with him, Thibodeau said. Something appeared to happen against the Trail Blazers last Thursday, Anunoby still played on Saturday against the Kings (shooting 1-of-8) but then flew back to New York for an MRI.

That MRI came back "clean" Thibodeau said, but Anunoby is unlikely to play Thursday in Denver. The Knicks' next game after that is Saturday in Madison Square Garden against the Nets, but the Knicks have no timeline for his return. Here is Thibodeau’s quote, via Fred Katz at The Athletic.

"We want to make sure that he's completely healthy," Thibodeau said. "We knew this was a possibility when you bring a guy back from surgery. If there's discomfort and stuff and he can't function the way that we feel he needs to function on the court we're just going to give him the time that he needs to let it calm down and we'll go from there."

Aunuoby has been a defensive force on the perimeter for the Knicks since being traded to New York from Toronto this season. Anunoby is averaging 14.5 points and 4.9 rebounds a game since coming to the Knicks, and more importantly the team is 15-2 in games he has played.

While the No. 4 seed Knicks would love to chase down the stumbling Cavaliers and get the third seed in the East (getting them on the opposite side of the bracket from Boston), what matters most is having Anunoby healthy and ready to go for the postseason. He should take all the time he needs to get right.