Josh Hart injury update: Knicks guard expected to play through abdominal strain in Game 7, per report

New York Knicks guard Josh Hart will attempt to play through an abdominal strain for Game 7 against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, per The Athletic. Hart is listed as questionable on the injury report, but it looks like he’ll suit up for the win or go home game. Hart played 31 minutes in New York’s Game 6 loss, but was ruled out a couple minutes into the fourth quarter with abdominal soreness.

Hart picked up the injury less than halfway through the first quarter when he was trying to box out Pascal Siakam to grab a rebound off a missed free throw from Myles Turner. As the two fought for position, which ended with a loose ball foul called on Hart, he could be seen grabbing at his midsection in some pain.

Here’s how the injury occurred:

Hart then asked to be taken out of the game, but returned with 4:57 left in the first quarter. He played for nearly 10 minutes in the second quarter, and almost nine minutes of the third quarter, but appeared to be laboring through all of his time on the court. He checked out for the last time with 9:53 left in the fourth quarter, and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the game. His injury looms large on an already depleted New York roster.

It was a dispiriting sign for the Knicks, who are dealing with a litany of injuries in this postseason run. Still, Knicks All-Star guard Jalen Brunson didn’t seem too worried about Hart not playing on Sunday.

“I mean, I would assume he’s playing,” Brunson said. “It’s Game 7.”

And to no one’s surprise, it appears Hart will try to give it a go on Sunday with New York’s season on the line. This is a guy whose averaging 43 minutes a game in the postseason, and is seen as New York’s Swiss Army knife on both ends of the floor. He may not put up gaudy numbers on a nightly basis, but he’s always making the hustle plays on defense, and has come in clutch on a number of times with his 3-point shooting, where he’s making them at a 40% clip in the playoffs.

If Hart plays, it remains to be seen how effective he can be if he’s not fully healthy. There’s a chance that he could do more harm than good if he’s in real pain out there, but given the type of player he is, he surely won’t scale back on diving for loose balls and fighting for offensive rebounds.

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