New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas suffered an injury against the Toronto Raptors. Here’s the latest on how severe the injury appears to be.
The New York Knicks have been one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA during the 2016-17 NBA regular season. One of the few players who has brought a consistent form of energy and effort on defense has been forward Lance Thomas.
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Unfortunately, the Knicks lost Thomas to an injury just two minutes into the 116-101 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday, Jan. 15.
Raptors star Jonas Valancinuas caught Thomas with an inadvertent elbow to the face. Thomas immediately left the game and didn’t return as team doctors took care of him both along the sidelines and then in the locker room.
According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York, Thomas suffered an orbital fracture and could be out for quite some time.
ESPN sources say Lance Thomas has suffered a fracture to a bone in his cheek. The timetable for his return is unclear.
Thomas was also suffering concussion-like symptoms following the loss to Toronto.
Thomas started in place of star power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the clash with Toronto due to a sore right achilles tendon. It was Thomas’ sixth start of the season and a display of the trust he’s earned from head coach Jeff Hornacek.
Though not especially productive, Thomas is widely regarded as one of the few Knicks who consistently tries on defense.
Defensive execution may be another conversation, but effort is something New York could use more of.
Thomas entered Sunday averaging 5.0 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 0.7 3-point field goals made in 18.1 minutes per game. He’s shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc and 85.0 percent from the free throw line.
The Knicks will now be forced to restructure the rotation with the likes of Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Maurice Daly Ndour at the two forward spots.