MINNEAPOLIS — Knicks center Joakim Noah missed Wednesday night’s game against the Timberwolves with a sprained left ankle he suffered in the first quarter of Monday’s loss to Oklahoma City.
Noah played through the injury on Monday, but it got worse and he was ruled out after testing the ankle Tuesday. Kyle O’Quinn started in Noah’s place.
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Noah’s status for Friday’s rematch against Minnesota at the Garden is uncertain.
“Just keep getting the treatment,” he said.
Noah, who signed a four-year, $72-million contract in the offseason, has been battling injuries and illness ever since preseason began.
“You’d like to just come into the season and be healthy and never miss a beat,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “But it’s kind of been up and down in terms of the ankle, the hamstring, sickness. Things are hitting him. But it’s a long season. That’s when other guys have to step up.”
Thomas on mend
Forward Lance Thomas, out since Nov. 12 with a foot/ankle injury, is getting closer to returning.
“Actually, he looked pretty good today at shoot-around,” Hornacek said. “Moving a lot better than I’ve seen him move. I think his foot’s feeling better. Maybe the next game or two he’ll be able to play.”
Thibodeau happy with Timberwolves
Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau was available when the Knicks needed a coach last offseason, but he didn’t get an interview. The former Knicks assistant said he’s OK with the way things worked out.
“I had seven great years there, so I know how important basketball is to that city,” he said. “I grew up in Connecticut. I enjoyed my time in New York, but it worked out exactly the way it should have. This is the job I wanted. They got a heck of a coach in Jeff Hornacek and it’s a great organization.”