Jalen Brunson injury: Knicks star returns to Game 2 vs. Pacers after heading to locker room with sore foot

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Jalen Brunson left Game 2 of the second-round series between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers with about four minutes left in the first quarter with what the Knicks called right foot soreness. His return was initially considered questionable, but Brunson took a chance after halftime and was on the court for the Knicks early in the third quarter.

It is not known exactly when the injury occurred. At one point in the first quarter, it looked like he took knee-to-knee contact or was hit in the groin. However, he remained in the game for a few minutes and it seemed that his hand, heavily taped, was the part of his body that was in pain.

With about three and a half minutes left in the first quarter, Brunson, who wasn’t moving well, looked like he was calling for an exit from the game as Josh Hart committed a transition foul. Here’s a look at the piece leading up to this moment:

Brunson is not only New York’s best player, but he has been one of the best players in the entire playoffs. He entered Wednesday’s action as the playoffs’ leading scorer with 256 total points, despite other players having played more games thus far. And Brunson made history by scoring 40 or more points in four straight playoff games..

He ranks fourth in the playoffs in assists with 60, and earlier Wednesday, he was announced as fifth place for that season’s MVP award.

Brunson’s presence would be critical for New York under any circumstances, but think about how hurt this team already is. Julius Randle has been out for most of the season. Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson both suffered expected season-ending injuries during the playoffs. The Knicks have relied heavily on just seven players of late, and Brunson has been their only consistent shot generator in the half-court.

The Knicks led by seven when Brunson left the game. Indiana took complete control of the game from there and led by 10 points at halftime. If Brunson can’t play at his usual level, the Knicks might be too exhausted to win this game or this series.