Storyline: Frank Ntilikina Injury

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The injury occurred after he got stripped by Josh Hart and raced back on defense. Ntilikina’s return is unclear and it sounds more than minor. The Frenchman said he was happy X-rays were negative, but there’s a chance he undergoes an MRI exam to determine the extent of the tendon damage. “I wasn’t on the court, but I’m happy we got that win,’’ Ntilikina said. “I’m trying to be positive and get that ankle to be OK real quick. We’re going to see day-to-day. Thankfully the X-rays of the bones were OK. Now we’re going to see and do the best to get back on the court real quick.’’

Emmanuel Mudiay is a penetrating point guard who can set up his teammates, which is something the Knicks need. He’s averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 assists in three games with the Knicks. But the Knicks also need to see what Ntilikina can do with significant minutes. He’s only 19 and if his offense catches up with his defense, he could prove to be a find. When the Knicks were winning early in the season, Ntilikina was closing games. His defense was critical. But Jeff Hornacek went away from that because he felt Ntilikina “hit a little bit of a wall.” Hornacek also noted that the tendinitis in Ntilikina’s knee limited him, and the Knicks were trying to be smart and not play him heavy minutes.

“[Frank Ntilikina] just looked exhausted sometimes,” Jeff Hornacek said. “His knee hurt for a while there, and that’s stuff we have to build up. And again, this is going to be a great last 23 games for him because, we’ll see, can he play the 30 minutes without his knees hurting? Part of that is growth. He’s young. But these last two practices, we’ve had hard practices, guys are going extremely hard. And he’s looked really good and he’s not complaining about any knee issues so the rest may have done him some good.”

Frank Ntilikina’s rookie season took another turn in the wrong direction when he twisted his right ankle in Tuesday’s practice and missed his third game in the Knicks’ 115-86 win over Miami on Wednesday. It was the same ankle that sidelined him after the season opener for two games. Ntilikina, 19, said the injury isn’t related to his severe ankle sprain that occurred the day after the Knicks lost in Oklahoma City when he went sprawling to the court. Nevertheless, coach Jeff Hornacek said once an ankle is twisted like it was last month, it probably wouldn’t have healed 100 percent by now.
2 years ago via ESPN

Jeff Hornacek says Frank Ntilikina will not play on Tuesday against Boston due to an ankle injury. Ntilikina missed most of practice Monday but Hornacek said the rookie’s lateral movement has improved and the Knicks hope to have him back for Friday’s game against Brooklyn. Ntilikina has missed two games with the ankle sprain, which he suffered in practice Friday. He missed the final four games of the preseason with a knee contusion and the entire summer league with a similar injury. Hornacek said the organization isn’t worried about Ntilikina, whom they selected with the No. 8 overall pick, being injury-prone. The coach said the 19-year-old’s ailments are a result of playing with maximum effort. “He’s playing as hard as he can …. I can’t complain about that.”
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