The New York Knicks will likely be without Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox against the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
First things first, don’t panic. The regular season is less than two weeks away and the New York Knicks are dealing with a few nagging injuries.
According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Kevin Knox missed practice on Thursday with a calf issue. Additionally, Dennis Smith Jr. is still dealing with a back issue that kept him out of Monday’s preseason opener against the Wizards.
“Kevin didn’t go [Thursday]. He’s still out. I don’t think it’s anything major, I just think the trainers really want to take their time and make sure he’s healed up before he really tries it out,” head coach David Fizdale said. “[Smith] is good. He hit today. Had more contact today, so that was a really good sign. … We’ll see how his body reacts to it. Hopefully that’s a positive reaction.”
Although Fizdale sounds optimistic about Smith, he’s still listed as doubtful on Friday. Wayne Ellington is questionable while Damyean Dotson, Amir Hinton, Kenny Wooten, and Reggie Bullock are all out for Friday’s game.
On the bright side, Bobby Portis was upgraded to probable after missing Monday’s game in Washington. The Knicks replenished their depth in the offseason so the rotation should be able to withstand a few injuries this season.
However, it’s always tough to see young players deal with nagging injuries that can stonewall their development. Frank Ntilikina‘s growth was stunted during a sophomore season hampered by injuries.