Why Did RJ Barrett Miss 3 Games in a Row? Knicks Coach Provides Some Alarming Details About the 23YO Star’s Health Condition

Published 11/19/2023, 1:58 AM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

While the Knicks (7-5) gear up for their Saturday game against the Hornets, there is still uncertainty about RJ Barrett’s return after missing three consecutive games. After playing seven games this season, Barrett was sidelined on Monday against Boston. Since then, Coach Tom Thibodeau had decided to bench him for Wednesday’s Hawks game as well as Friday’s Wizard game.

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What we know is that Barrett’s persistent migraine has been barring him from getting back in the game. Despite this, he has been traveling with the team, although Coach Thibodeau has been keeping him from playing or practicing, to be on the safe side. With one of their top players out, the Knicks have been without their key starter for three games. For the first time, Coach Thibodeau gave some insights on Barrett’s condition as well as his probable return.

Tom Thibodeau’s supportive comment for RJ Barrett

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Although Barrett did not play on Friday, he showed up with the team and watched the game. To the naked eye, he looked fine and dandy. However, Coach Thibodeau said about Barrett, “Look, he was very sick. That’s all I’ll say. And if he’s not ready, he’s not ready. You trust the medical people, you trust him and you go from there. He warmed up. He said he wasn’t quite there. We’ll see where he is tomorrow, but each day has been a lot better.

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As a Coach, Thibodeau is doing the right thing, and allowing Barrett to recover fully before joining the team back on the court. “He’s still, he’s feeling fatigued. So there’s stuff you normally feel when you’re sick. When he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go,” he said. Given that Barrett had worked out earlier in the day and again before the game, Thibodeau showed confidence in him. He made it clear that if Barrett says he’s ready to play, he will; until then, the next player on the roster take over.

Barrett can be expected to make a comeback very soon

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Once in a while, it is nice to see the Coach stand up for their player, and Coach Thibodeau is doing exactly that. Well, it looks like Barrett is already on the road to recovery and we can expect him back on the starting lineup very soon. The 23-year-old was the third overall pick by the Knickers in the 2019 NBA Draft, and with so many years still to go in the NBA, he has only been improving and polishing himself as a top player.

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On the Knicks’ injury list, we have Quentin Grimes (left wrist), who missed the games on Wednesday and Friday. He is questionable for the Hornets game, but since it is just a sprain, according to Coach Thibodeau, he will be back on the roster very soon. Once both Barrett and Grimes are back, we can expect the Knicks’ offensive front to be a tough wall to break down. In their absence, Coach Thibodeau has been putting  Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart to fill in their shoes, alongside Julius Randle, Jalen Brunson, and Mitchell Robinson.

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Do you think Barrett is the type of player that can carry the Knicks forward this season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Tsuktibenla T Jamir

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Tsuktibenla T Jamir is an NBA author at EssentiallySports. Armed with a Masters in Journalism from the prestigious Delhi School of Journalism, this Nagaland native combines her academic prowess with her passion for the game to craft compelling narratives that bring the NBA to life. She finds immense joy in dissecting the journeys of the athletes who make the game larger than life.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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