New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Tuesday that he doesn't expect Derrick Rose or Julius Randle to return before the end of the season:
Rose has been out since December with a right ankle injury. He had a procedure on the ankle at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery that same month.
Randle has been out for all of April with a quad injury. Thibodeau told reporters Saturday that Randle would "most likely" be out for the remainder of the year.
There's no reason for either veteran to return this season even if they were healthy.
The 35-44 Knicks, who are 11th in the Eastern Conference, have already been eliminated from a spot in the play-in tournament. They have three regular-season games remaining before their 2021-22 campaign ends Sunday.
It's been a disappointing season for the Knicks, who made the 2021 playoffs after missing out on the postseason for seven years.
A 41-31 campaign ended with a five-game loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, but expectations were that the Knicks would be back in the playoffs this year.
That did not happen.
The Knicks' defensive rating dropped from third to 11th, per Basketball-Reference. They also had a bad habit of blowing big leads, including three of 20 or more in an 11-day span prior to the All-Star Break.
Kemba Walker was brought in as the team's new starting point guard, but he played just 37 games and shot just 40.3 percent from the field.
Randle had a down year. He went from scoring 24.1 points on 45.6 percent shooting (41.1 percent from three-point range) to 20.1 PPG on 41.1 percent shooting (30.8 percent from three).
Rose, who was one of the biggest reasons why the Knicks made the playoffs the year before, suited up for just 26 games.
There was one notable bright spot, as RJ Barrett continued his improvement and currently averages 20.1 points per game in his third NBA season.
But the Knicks are simply playing out the string of a lost season at this point. They'll close out the year with a home game against the Brooklyn Nets, a road matchup with the Washington Wizards and another home matchup versus the Toronto Raptors.