New York Knicks forward Julius Randle tried his best but couldn't return for the team's playoff run after injuring his shoulder in January. New York had to make do without its second-leading scorer, which led to an earlier exit than the team originally anticipated.

Luckily for Knicks fans, Randle confirmed that he's ready for next season, via Wave Sports and Entertainment's 7PM In Brooklyn show with Carmelo Anthony and The Kid Mero.

“Yea, I'm good bro… I'm healthy,” Randle assured. “I'm getting there. It's a process. It's one of those things that's going to take a long time and I knew that going into it, but I'm ahead of schedule. I'm feeling good. I'll be ready when the season starts.”

However, Randle went through a difficult process to get to this point, both physically and mentally. How did the three-time All-Star finally get back to 100% health?

Randle postponed his surgery as much as he could in attempts to come back for the Knicks

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) warms up before a game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
© John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Randle's injury was unusual, because the initial thought was that he could come back after a couple months. However, despite his furious rehab regiment, he couldn't heal up in time to come back in the spring.

“It was terrible, bro,” Randle admitted. “The process leading up to it was the battle because I had to really go through the process to see if I could play or not and to get to the point where it's like, ‘man, my body, just can't do it.’ You know what I mean? I'm hurting, my shoulder is unstable. That was tough to accept because I'm just the type of person that's like, man, I'm getting through anything. You know what I mean? It doesn't matter. So it was tough to accept but it ended up being the best thing.”

What made the situation even more painful was how good the Knicks were. The team still finished second in the East despite suffering numerous other injuries in addition to Randle, so it's natural to wonder how good they would've been at full health.

“And I knew going into it, like, bro, this is going to f***ing suck,” Randle continued. “Because I knew who our team was. I knew what the guys brought…I knew we had a special group. You get to that point in the league where for me it's like I'm entering year 10. This is about nothing but winning. So when you have those opportunities where you have a special group like that, you want to take advantage of it. So for me it was like, man, I don't get that opportunity. But I knew going into the surgery it was going to be a tough thing, but I was proud of the guys. They stepped up and it just motivated me throughout this process to just get right. So when I come back next year, I can just help what they doing already.”

While Randle may have lost a precious opportunity to chase a ring last season, the beauty of sports is that there's always next year. The 29-year-old still has a few good years left to try and hoist the Larry O'Brien.

Randle opened up on his mental state throughout the ordeal, and it wasn't always pretty.

“I felt selfish bro,” Randle admitted. “I had to go through a process and when I made the decision, I had been rehabbing for two and a half months knowing that my shoulder ain't good. It was like a decision, do I play and know that I'm going to miss six, seven months after we done playing. So I probably ain't playing until the next year and I ain't good. You know what I mean? So can I help the team? I don't think I can get a rebound. I can't fall. I feel like if I fall, my shoulder going to come out. So I'm dealing with that, but I'm also dealing with the part of man, I feel selfish, I'm letting the guys down.”

While it's easy for a player to beat themselves up about not rehabbing correctly, Randle can rest easy knowing that his toughness and commitment to the team has bought him plenty of respect in the locker room. One could never be “selfish” for doing everything they could to try and help the team.

“Then it came to a point where it's like, man, I don't even want to be around because trying to work to come back, but I feel like a distraction,” Randle continued. “So I feel like I'm an outcast. I'm like bro, let me just stay away. They’re doing great. Let me just be around and support when I can. So it's just like I had to get out of my own way and my own ego and be like, all right bro, once I made that decision, you know what? Deal with it and keep moving and support the best way you can.”

Luckily, Randle won't have to watch his teammates flourish from the crowd anymore, as he's projected to be back in October, via The New York Post. If Knicks fans had any doubts about the two-time All-NBA honoree's commitment to bringing the franchise a championship, they should listen to this podcast episode.