Joakim Noah’s health continues to be an issue, and his signing keeps looking worse for Phil Jackson and the Knicks.
Noah needs surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports The Vertical. It’s the same shoulder Noah had surgery on while he was a member of the Bulls last year. The rehab will be four-to-six months, the Vertical reported.
The Knicks wouldn’t confirm the report.
Nothing has gone right for Noah or the Knicks since Jackson gave the veteran center a four-year, $72 million free-agent contract last summer to be a defensive anchor and leader.
This will be the second surgery Noah will undergo since the end of February when he had his left knee scoped. He also is currently serving a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NBA’s anti-drug policy.
Noah, 32, tested positive for a banned over-the-counter supplement that he said he had been taking for a while to help him overcome and recovery from injuries.
He has been injury-plagued over the last few seasons. Noah played just 29 games last season with the Bulls when he needed surgery to repair a dislocated left shoulder. He appeared in 46 this season for the Knicks, and averaged 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds, and hasn’t played since Feb. 4.
Noah’s contract weighs heavily over the Knicks, as he still has three years, and $54 million remaining on his deal.
He was cleared to play two weeks ago from his knee surgery, and will serve the eighth game of his suspension Wednesday night when the Knicks close out their season against the 76ers. He will be suspended the first 12 games of next season.
Without Noah, the Knicks have come to rely on rookie center Willy Hernangomez, who has impressed with his offensive skills. The Knicks are expected to build around Kristaps Porzingis and Hernangomez.