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Woj: “Julius Randle's ankle will need to improve considerably to play Sunday”

The bomb dropped and it points in the wrong direction

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Five Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Adrian Wojnarowski didn’t drop his latest bomb on Twitter opting instead for the classic airwaves to share the news live on ESPN, but he dropped it nonetheless.

Speaking from Los Angeles ahead of Game 6 of the Kings and Warriors series, Woj told everybody watching that he had fresh information about Julius Randle’s availability for the series-opener between the Knicks and the Heat scheduled to tip off on Sunday at 1:00 pm ET at MSG.

“I’m told that there’s gonna have to be some fairly considerable improvement between now and Sunday at 1 p.m. for Julius Randle to be available in Game 1 against the Miami Heat,” Woj revealed.

We all know about the explainer that he followed that up with, about Randle’s getting injured for the first time on March 29 before re-aggravating his sprained ankle in Game 5 and missing the entire second half of the Knicks’ clincher against the Cavs last Wednesday.

Thibodeau spoke yesterday after the team took to Tarrytown and practiced for the first time ahead of Sunday’s Game 1.

“He didn’t do much today, but he’s feeling a little bit better,” Thibodeau said. “He’ll go through the rehab, see where he is tomorrow.”

Thibs acknowledged that Randle was “better” on Friday than he was a day before, saying that “was the big thing” and that the Knicks remain ”hopeful” Randle can be on the court come tip-off time.

Peter Botte of the New York Post was at the practice facilities and he was able to film Randle taking a bunch of shots from across the court while sporting what appeared to be an ankle brace.

“Randle hoisted dozens of shots from around the 3-point arc at the end of Knicks practice on Friday,” wrote Botte.

Thibodeau also said that the forward had been doing “some cardio work in the pool” and some “spot-up shooting,” which was confirmed by Botte’s short clips tweeted on Friday evening.

Ian Begley spoke to the cameras of SNY from Tarrytown reporting similar information and confirming Randle’s shaky status less than 48 hours from Game 1.

“Randle shot around, did some work [cardio] in the pool, and did some weight lifting today,” Begley said, “but he did not do much else beyond that and practice.

“So, just reading the tea leaves, it would seem like he’s unlikely to be ready for Sunday,” Begley concluded.

Begley, though, offered a glimmer of hope when he quoted Thibs saying that Randle’s current ankle sprain is “not as bad as the previous ankle sprain,” which SNY initially reported from Cleveland when the re-injury took place at the end of the second quarter of Game 5.

At the time of this writing (Saturday, 3:30 am ET) there are no players listed in the official NBA Injury Report. The Knicks and the Heat will need to submit the list of players with issues by 5:00 pm ET today ahead of Sunday’s opener at the Garden.

Quentin Grimes (shoulder contusion) might make the official list, but as we reported yesterday he “expects to play” in Game 1 on Sunday after going through a full practice on Friday.