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Knicks star rookie R.J. Barrett leaves game with ankle injury

Jan 5, 2020; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Knicks guard RJ Barrett (9) is fouled by Los Angeles Clippers forward Paul George (13) as he drives to the basket in the first quarter of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As if the New York Knicks and their fans needed any more bad news. Down double digits to the Phoenix Suns in the third quarter of Thursday’s game at Madison Square Garden, rookie No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett exited the game.

The Duke product was seen limping considerably after shooting a free throw.

It’s not yet known how severe the injury is. New York did almost immediately rule him out for the remainder of the game with a sprained right ankle.

The Knicks simply can’t afford any more injuries. That’s defined their disastrous season just as much as lackluster front office leadership and a lack of talent on the court.

Barrett, 19, entered Thursday’s game averaging 14.3 points and 5.3 rebounds on 40% shooting from the field. It has not been a great initial season for the guard in the NBA.