New York Post
New knee bruise puts Ntilikina out vs. Wizards
WASHINGTON — John Wall will have to wait.
Knicks rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina will miss Friday’s preseason game against the Wizards with a bruised right knee.
Ntilikina hurt his groin Monday, but still played in the preseason opener Tuesday against the Nets, during which he looked smooth running the offense despite shooting just 1-for-7 and scoring five points. He picked up three nifty assists coming off the bench for starter Ramon Sessions.
The 19-year-old also had a bruised right knee in July that prevented him from playing in the Orlando summer league.
“Of course I’m always disappointed [not to play],’’ said Ntilikina, who still could face Wall, the Wizards point guard, in the preseason finale Oct. 13. “I’m resting to be ready for this long season. It’s going to be a long season.’’
The latest injury occurred in a collision with center Enes Kanter on the defensive end.
“I was running to get a rebound and didn’t see him coming,’’ Ntilikina said. “I felt it a little bit during the game. Then after the game it swelled.’’
Ntilikina said he would skip the trip to Washington and rehab at the Knicks’ Tarrytown facility.
Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said he will alter the starting lineup Friday and could give veteran Jarrett Jack a look at the starting slot after going with Sessions on Tuesday.
“It was a good collision,’’ Hornacek said, defusing the notion Ntilikina’s latest setback is related to the summer-league injury. “The summer was more wear because he wasn’t in line exactly right. The trainers have been working on getting him proper.’’
It has been a tough preseason so far for Ron Baker, who shockingly signed a two-year deal for the room exception of $4.1 million. Baker told The Post he first injured his ankle on Labor Day weekend, reinjured it in mid-September and has barely practiced during camp. He will miss his second straight preseason game Friday, as will Mindaugas
Kuzminskas (calf). … Hornacek gave no proper explanation why forward Jamel Artis was waived after one game, even saying he “played great.’’