The Knicks soon got rid of their favorite words to describe Mitchell Robinson’s rehabilitation center.
Finally, the young, bullet-proof and sinking demon is close to returning and could play in the team’s pre-season final on Friday.
“He’s very close,” coach Tom Thibaut said Wednesday, before the Knicks hosted Pistons Park. “I hope he plays in the last game. He’s fully engaged now. We feel he’ll be fine in another training session.”
The 7-foot-tall Robinson has started a full workout as he plans to return to the court after undergoing surgery in March last year. For weeks, Nix called Robinson “close” and “progressing.” But now there is a significant update.
Although Thibaut Robinson hasn’t said he will play against the Wizards on Friday or be ready for next Wednesday’s game against the Celtics, he is going in the right direction.
“I always say you have to train well to play well. That’s why I want to see it first. And it worked better,” Thibaut said. “It will be a step-by-step process for him. Just be patient. And put what you have every day and see where it’s going. And when he’s ready, he’s ready. We don’t rush, we don’t miss things. But we are very pleased with what he has done so far. ”
A healthy and productive Robinson would be important to the Knicks, especially in defense, as he blocked 1.5 shots per game a year ago. Robinson has been a staple of the season – Thibaut jokingly called him “Flex” – adding muscles to help him defend Eastern Conference centers such as Joel Embiid in Philadelphia and Clint Kapela in Atlanta.
“He maximized his time,” Thibaut said. “So you have to be strong to get that position. And his elite athletics, if you combine it with the power you’ve gained, I think that’s a big plus.”
If Robinson plays on Friday, it will allow the Knicks to get on the ground to practice a single outfit before games start. This has yet to happen. Nerlens Noel (knee to knee) and Kemba Walker (rest) did not play on Wednesday, and Julie Randle missed his second game of the season due to the birth of his second child, Jayce. Tibo says Noel is in good condition and is close to returning. But the Knicks ’second-year coach thinks these shortcomings will only help his team move forward
“You have to choose the approach you want to be with everyone, but that’s not true. Everyone has to be ready,” Thibaut said. All we are given is a look at Jericho Sims. Julie, one game gave us a chance to start Obi [Toppin] and play with Kevin [Knox]. This gives us the opportunity to work with other children.
“The closer you get to the intensity of the game, the more you try [in practice] it is not possible to do this as much as possible. So it is good to have such opportunities. You understand that it’s part of the season and you want to try to use them. You will need everything throughout the season. “