Sources: Knicks' Cleanthony Early expected to make full recovery after shooting

Shams Charania

After sustaining a gun-shot wound to his right knee early Wednesday in a targeted robbery, New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early underwent MRI and X-ray exams that revealed no structural damage or surgery required, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Early remains in New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors and the New York Knicks' training staff have worked to keep the 24-year-old's knee from becoming infected, sources told Yahoo. Early is expected to have a cleanup of his knee and expects a full recovery, league sources said. The bullet exited Early's leg and is not lodged in it, sources said.

Early is expected to need two to three months to recover, league sources said, with his week-to-week timetable potentially changing, depending on his rehabilitation.

Knicks forward Cleanthony Early (left) was shot in a targeted robbery. (AP)
Knicks forward Cleanthony Early (left) was shot in a targeted robbery. (AP)

The Knicks and Early's family have been briefed on his condition, sources said. Early was robbed after leaving CityScapes Gentlemen's Club in the Queens borough of New York around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, the New York Police Department said. When reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, a New York police official told Yahoo Sports that no arrests have been made in connection to the shooting and the investigation is ongoing.

Despite the shooting, Early has been in high spirits in the hospital and is positive about his recovery from the injury suffered, sources said. Early had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee during his rookie season in 2014-15.

Early was drafted by the Knicks with the No. 34 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He led Wichita State to a 34-0 regular season in his senior year.

After averaging 5.4 points in 39 games (seven starts) as a rookie, Early has played a minimal role for this season's Knicks. He has scored seven points in 10 appearances. Early will become a free agent at the end of the season.