ATLANTA — Mitchell Robinson was in “good spirits” after undergoing surgery on Thursday to repair a fractured right thumb, according to Tom Thibodeau.
“He has been through this previously, so I believe he comprehends what he must do. Before the Knicks’ 139-124 loss to the Hawks, Thibodeau stated, “He’ll assist in any way possible, so he’ll be involved with the team and stuff.” “It’s unfortunate, but such is the nature of the game. Next person, please enter and complete the task. Obviously, you cannot replace Mitch on an individual basis. It must be accomplished collaboratively. Everyone must pitch in and get the job done.”
Robinson also missed significant time due to a fractured hand and a season-ending foot injury during the 2020-21 season.
The Knicks have stated that Robinson will be re-evaluated in three weeks, but Thibodeau does not know how long Robinson will be sidelined. He reaffirmed that he is comfortable with Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims splitting time at center in Robinson’s absence, and that he can even utilize a smaller lineup with Julius Randle at center depending on matchups.
Mitchell Robinson AP
Sims’ work ethic and ability to fill in at several spots during Robinson and Obi Toppin’s earlier injury absences have pleased Thibodeau.
The team’s 2021 second-round pick has been a “great guy to be around, a great teammate, and a great worker” since his rookie season, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau. “I believe you can see all the areas in which he has improved. And I knew the guys that evaluated him prior to the selection, and we felt he had a lot of potential.”
“The athleticism is obvious, but so is his touch with the ball, right and left hand in the paint, his passing abilities, the way he can run the court, and everything he’s doing defensively. I believe the most notable aspect of his character is the manner in which he performs his duties. With this type of work ethic and competitiveness, I believe he will continue to improve.”
Sims replaced Robinson in the starting lineup and finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
Toppin, a native of Brooklyn, supports the Giants in their Saturday playoff game versus the Eagles, Jalen Brunson’s favorite team.
“I ain’t going to lie. I am an imposter Giants fan. Simply because I want Jalen to lose,” said Toppin. However, I still adore the Giants. I grew up in New York. I must adore the Giants. I prefer them to the New York Jets.”