With Mitchell Robinson still dealing with the knee soreness that caused him to miss eight games earlier this month, Knicks backup center Isaiah Hartenstein revealed Wednesday that he also has been receiving treatment regularly for an inflamed Achilles since the summer.
Hartenstein, also one of several players suffering from flu-like symptoms on the team’s just-completed 3-2 western road trip, averaged 3.8 points and 5.6 rebounds over 18.4 minutes per game.
“Especially on the trip it was a little harder, playing with flu. Still not really healthy as I should be with my Achilles stuff. So just trying to get back into it,” Hartenstein said after Wednesday’s practice. “I knew it wasn’t the best trip of mine. But I was just trying to give it everything I had with the amount of ability I had and my Achilles being like 80 percent the whole season.”
Robinson played Sunday in Phoenix for the first time since Nov. 4, but he left the Oklahoma City game the next night in the second half with recurrent right knee soreness.Isaiah HartensteinUSA TODAY Sports
Robinson participated in “most” of Wednesday’s practice, Tom Thibodeau said, which means the center potentially could be available for Friday’s game against Portland at the Garden.
Thibodeau has utilized a three-center rotation during the past two games, with second-year big man Jericho Sims also earning minutes.
Hartenstein admitted the Achilles situation has affected “how I normally play, especially on defense” and that he’s been trying to adapt his game to fit the Knicks’ style.
“I think everyone has been contributing. Jericho is definitely an NBA player, and what he brought to the team especially, maybe when I wasn’t at full capacity. I think he did a good job of holding it down. … And Mitch has been doing a good job, too,” Hartenstein said. “For me it’s adjusting to a different role where it’s playing more like them, I guess. Not more of what I’m used to. That’s been a little more difficult.” And so I’m just adjusting to more of a Mitch role, where I’m just rolling in the pick-and-roll.
“I want to do whatever the team needs to win. If that’s playing three bigs, if that’s playing small, I’m going to do whatever the team needs me to do to win.”
Thibodeau said Cam Reddish (groin) “did a little” in practice and Derrick Rose (toe) “did most of it, as well,” and will “see how they feel Friday.”