Josh Hart asked out of Game 6 in Knicks injury concern: ‘Add it to the list’

INDIANAPOLIS — It is always surprising — even jarring — to see Josh Hart come out of a game, especially during the playoffs. 

Asking out is something else entirely. 

The Knicks’ iron man suffered an injury to his abdominal area Friday night in the first quarter of a series-tying 116-103 loss in Game 6 against the Pacers. 

Josh Hart #3 of the New York Knicks reacts after appearing to suffer an injury. Jason Szenes / New York Post

Hart, who already has played four complete games in the Knicks’ first 12 of the postseason, even appeared to motion to the bench to be removed nearly midway through the third quarter.

He was seen wearing a heating pad while being attended to by team trainers, though he briefly reentered the game with 3:19 left in the period. 

During the fourth quarter, the Knicks ruled out Hart for the remainder of the night with what the team called “abdomen soreness.” 

“Obviously, something must have been really wrong, but I saw him come back in the game and continue the fight,” Jalen Brunson said. “I wasn’t really necessarily worried or anything. I guess you can just add it to the list.” 

Indeed, the Knicks already were without four forwards due to injuries: Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, Bojan Bogdanovic and OG Anunoby. 

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Donte DiVincenzo also noted “that’s been our season,” but stressed the Knicks “have more than enough” for Game 7 Sunday at the Garden. 

“Just knowing Josh, he’ll do whatever to play,” Isaiah Hartenstein added. “If his leg’s not falling off … he’ll probably say that he’ll probably play.” 

Hart initially had been removed and replaced by Precious Achiuwa barely five minutes into the game.

Josh Hart appeared injured early in the game. Jason Szenes / New York Post
Josh Hart dealt with the abdominal issue in Game 6. Jason Szenes / New York Post

He was seen talking with trainers near the visiting bench and then checked back into the game with 4:57 remaining in the period. 

The workhorse wing played the rest of the quarter, including registering a blocked shot at the rim against Pascal Siakam. 

Hart did not come out of the locker room until after play had resumed in the second quarter, but he checked back into the game 2:12 into the session. 

“Yes, Josh asked to come out, but he went back in and gives everything he has,” Brunson said. “What more can you ask for from a teammate? Knowing the situation, we’re just going to have each other backs.” 

Hart, who began the night with the fourth-best rebounding average in the playoffs at 12.2 per game, ended up logging 20 minutes by halftime.

He finished with five points and eight boards in 31 minutes overall. 

“Obviously, it’s tough because he brings a lot of the rebounding for us, a lot of the effort,” Miles McBride said. “He’s one of our leaders, so for him to not return is tough. I mean, he seems like he’s feeling better now. 

“I’m not sure about the whole situation, but obviously for a guy like that who’s pretty tough, asking out is not a good sign, but I think he’ll bounce back.”