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Knicks' Robinson returns after 50-game absence

Mitchell Robinson New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson - The Canadian Press

TORONTO (AP) — New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson returned to the court Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors, his first action since a left ankle injury in December sidelined him for 50 games.

Robinson checked in with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter, replacing Isaiah Hartenstein.

The 7-footer had not played since he was injured in a Dec. 8 loss at Boston and needed surgery. Despite his lengthy absence, Robinson still leads the NBA with an average of 5.3 offensive rebounds per game.

Robinson had been listed as questionable on New York’s injury report but Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that the center would play as long as he felt fine after warming up.

“We’re glad to have him back,” Thibodeau said.

The Knicks entered fourth in the Eastern Conference standings and had won six of seven.

Robinson, in his sixth season, came in averaging 6.2 points and a career-high 10.3 rebounds in 21 games.