Alec Burks’ return to Knicks stalled by injury


The Knicks finally got Alec Burks back after he missed the last eight games for COVID-19 protocols.

And the Knicks swingman delivered, making his first four shots when he came off the bench to start the second quarter and delivering two nifty assists — including an alley-oop to Obi Toppin.

But Burks couldn’t finish what he started as he got entangled with Memphis point guard Ja Morant and twisted his ankle, forcing him to leave the game with four minutes left.

Burks, who also handled some point–guard duties in his return, wasn’t made available after the game and his status now appears uncertain for the game in Denver on Wednesday.

“His first game back, I thought he did some really good things,’’ Tom Thibodeau said. “But his timing’s still not there, it will get there.’’

Burks made his first shot attempt since the game versus New Orleans on April 18 — a 3-pointer that went in, out and back in. Whether he’ll be ready to continue his comeback remains to be seen.

With Taj Gibson starting for injured Nerlens Noel, Norvel Pelle was given the backup role as Thibodeau decided against going small-ball.

“Pelle gave us really good minutes,’’ Thibodeau said. Pelle, who has a partially guaranteed deal for next season, logged 14 minutes, registered five blocks, scored two points and was a plus-7.

The Knicks signed point guard Jared Harper to another 10-day pact. When that expires they’d still have a couple of more days to ink the Argentinian Luca Vildoza but they are definitely interested for next season. “Leon [Rose], Wes [William Wesley] and Scott [Perry] are always looking at the opportunities we could have,’’ Thibodeau said. “That’s up to them. If something makes sense and we think it can help us, we’ll always look it. But we’re obviously pleased with the players we have.’’

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