Home News Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau unclear on Isaiah Hartenstein’s minutes restriction with postseason approaching

Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau unclear on Isaiah Hartenstein’s minutes restriction with postseason approaching

Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein missed the second game of a back-to-back Friday against the Nets due to injury management for his left Achilles.

In Thursday’s blowout victory over the Boston Celtics, Hartenstein grabbed 10 rebounds in 33 minutes, marking the most playing time he’s received since re-aggravating the Achilles in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 8.

“It’s just a back-to back,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said before tip-off when asked why the center was sidelined against the Nets.

“He’s around the 30-minute mark,” he added about Hartenstein’s current minutes restriction.

Thibodeau didn’t provide any clarity for whether Hartenstein’s minutes restriction will carry into the postseason.

“You know, that’s a medical question,” he said.

Hartenstein first missed time in January due to an ankle injury he sustained in a Jan. 20 win over the Toronto Raptors. The Knicks then diagnosed Hartenstein with left Achilles tendinopathy.

His injury occurred at a bad time for the Knicks, with Mitchell Robinson then sidelined after undergoing ankle surgery.

Last month, Hartenstein admitted he would have sat out “a couple more weeks” if his team wasn’t in a battle in the Eastern Conference standings. At the time, the Knicks were the fourth seed, and only a game-and-a-half separated them from the No. 8 Indiana Pacers.

“There’s urgency every single day. I feel like that was the main thing of me wanting to come back. Just to make sure I’m here for my team,” Hartenstein said last month. “I probably could’ve sat out a couple more weeks. But to me, I think we found a perfect medium where we’re ramping it up at a good time.”

With a regular-season game remaining following Friday’s matchup with the Nets, the Knicks’ need for Hartenstein to get relatively healthy is paramount for postseason success. Thibodeau believes his team’s ability to survive injuries this season was a positive.

“I think there’s a lot of ups and downs in the season and in a game,” he said. “To have the ability to navigate through that and to understand, ‘Look, we can get through things. And when something’s not right, we can fix it.’

“I think if you do that, you can turn anything your way. And that’s the mindset we want to have.”


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