Knicks’ Dennis Smith Jr. speaks out on severity of back injury
New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. provided an update on the severity of his back ailment in a recent interview with ESPN’s Ian Begley.
Smith has been dealing with a lower back strain through the early phases of this season. He was held out of Saturday’s practice and is expected to miss Monday’s preseason matchup against the Washington Wizards.
Obviously, this is concerning for Knicks fans, as Smith Jr. dealt with a back issue last season that forced him to miss 10 of the Knicks final 14 games. However, the former No. 9 overall pick says this injury is not related to his ailment from last season:
Dennis Smith Jr. says his back strain is not related to the back issue from last season. “It’s nothing major, nothing to sweat about,” Smith Jr. said.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) October 7, 2019
Smith was traded to New York back in January as part of the Kristaps Porzingis deal. In his 21 appearances with the Knickerbockers, DSJ racked up averages of 14.7 points on 41.3 percent shooting from the field (28.9 percent from beyond the arc), 5.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 28.6 minutes per outing.
With Smith needing more time to recover, Elfrid Payton and Frank Ntilikina will likely see a bit more playing time. Additional updates on Smith’s status should be provided throughout the week.
Monday night’s Knicks-Wizards game is set to tip inside Capital One Arena at 7:00 p.m. ET.