The Knicks' Thursday showdown with the Sacramento Kings has been tempered by recent news that star big man Julius Randle will be undergoing season-ending surgery on a shoulder that was re-injured five weeks ago.

Randle is the Knicks' second-leading scorer behind Jalen Brunson and is averaging  24 points per game currently, and now the Knicks will be forced to soldier onward without him for the rest of the year.

The news came amid an ‘optimistic' injury update on forward OG Anunoby. News on Brunson's potential contract extension was also revealed.

With the Kings set to visit the Big Apple, Randle's injury news is taking center stage.

Reporter Shares News on Randle Injury 

The news was revealed by reporter Chris B. Haynes on Twitter on Thursday. Haynes noted that Randle dislocated his shoulder in late January and added that he spoke to Randle directly.

According to Haynes, Randle told him he had ‘every intention' to return this season, which is what caused him to initially put off the procedure. When Randle reinjured his shoulder, the situation became an ‘uphill battle' with a further risk of potentially ‘permanent' damage.

How Knicks Can Replace Randle 

Randle's loss will likely be felt immediately on the court by Knicks fans as the former Kentucky Wildcats star turned Knicks sensation provided a tremendous amount of production and great leadership for Coach Tom Thibodeau's team.

The silver lining is that New York is a balanced team with seven players currently averaging double figures on the season. The Knicks are relatively thin in terms of front court depth, however, which means that the loss of Randle could be a huge blow to their championship hopes, one year after winning their first playoff series since 2013, over Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Randle has also averaged 9.2 rebounds and five assists on the season. After Randle, the Knicks' best rebounder is center Isaiah Hartenstein, who has snagged 8.3 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game. Hartenstein has scored just 7.5 points per game, however, underscoring the Knicks' sudden lack of frontcourt scoring with Randle watching from the sidelines.

Coach Thibodeau and the Knicks may have to rely more on Anunoby going forward, perhaps in some small-ball lineups, to fill the gaping hole that will be left by Randle's absence. Power forward Precious Achiuwa is averaging nearly eight rebounds per game this season and is another big body who could help fill in for Randle this season.

The Knicks are 44-31 on the season and currently hold the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.