TORONTO — RJ Barrett was back home Friday and expected plenty of friends and family in attendance when the Knicks took on the Raptors at Scotiabank Arena. But like his friends, he was in street clothes, still healing from the right index finger laceration that sidelined him for a fifth game Friday night.
Speaking for the first time since the injury, Barrett described what happened, and it’s no surprise that he remains sidelined. It appeared at first that he might have cut himself with a nail as he drove to the rim in Dallas with Luka Doncic defending, but it was more serious than that.
“My own hand went into my other hand and my finger bent backward and popped out of place, which caused the laceration,” Barrett said. “So yeah, that’s what happened. It popped out. I popped it back into place. I didn’t see [bone]. I was told after it was more like tendons, I guess. But yeah, so I looked at my hand, it was definitely a laceration right there. So I immediately just walked out and got it stitched up.”
Barrett has six stitches and will see team doctors again this coming week to see if the stitches are ready to be removed. At that point, he will have a better idea when he can return to action. He had played in the first 35 games this season, including just 1 minute, 36 seconds against Dallas before suffering the injury.
“It feels weird,” Barrett said of sitting out. “But yeah, just trying to do what I can, really, stay in shape the best I can. Shoot, do whatever I can. Whenever I’m cleared and feeling good, I’ll be back. The problem is, it’s a healing process, so I can’t force my body to heal.”
Barrett pointed out that the laceration remains more the problem than the dislocation.
“It’s more of the laceration, for sure,” he said. “But the dislocation, it’s just like any other time you dislocate a finger. It’s tough having it. But yeah, just trying to focus more on the laceration right now and when I get these stitches out.”