New York Knicks forward Cleanthony Early, who was robbed and shot in his right kneecap outside a strip club in Queens on Wednesday, is expected to make a full recovery, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports (Dec. 30).
According to Charania, Early did not suffer any structural damage to his knee and will not require surgey. He's expected to miss two-to-three months.
Carmelo Anthony said he and several teammates visited Early in the hospital on Thursday and that he's in good spirits (Dec. 31).
Early, the Knicks' second-round pick from Wichita State in the 2014 draft, is averaging 0.7 points per game in 10 games with New York this season.
No arrests or leads have been reported.
On Thursday afternoon, Early posted the following on Instagram:
Everything I Go Through Grows Me & a simple celebration of a friends birthday easily turned into a day that will change my life forever but for the Better. Continue to count your blessings regardless, I know I will, because I got shot but ironically I dodge a bullet. It could of been way worse and I'm thankful and grateful it wasn't. This is a lesson learn for me and to you all as well, be safe out there, theirs people out here that want to hurt you just to hurt you, it's the sad truth about life but don't let them catch you slipping, & don't let them take your Joy! We / I could think about what I could of/should of/ or what you would of done differently to prevent the situation from happening but truth be told is it is what it is, I'm not perfect, but I'm alive,learning & unlearning and God got me so I'm going to be alright! There was No major damage done Thank God, but this is one hell of an experience to recovery from. So with that beginning said Thank you all for your Thoughts and Prayers, I appreciate you all! Shout out to you beautiful souls for caring and sending all the love, it overpowers all hate everyday��. God works in Mysterious ways but this is a Minor set back for a Major come back! #HungrierAndHumbler #ChangeIsTheOnlyConstant #ChangeForTheBetter #ImGood #GodSpeedRecovery
Early is very lucky to be expected to make a full recovery, but what happened to him is obviously very unfortunate.
It'll be interesting to see if the front office has any further comment about the incident, since it relates to how the Knicks go about conducting themselves after hours, so to speak. Steve Mills has already spoken to the team and Derek Fisher did a good job of handling the issue publicly with the media.
As Fisher alluded to, Early was the victim here. Professional athletes are easy targets because they are well known commodities with fame, fortune, and popularity. The fact is that they may have to make decisions about their lifestyle and where they choose to go with that sometimes harsh reality in mind.
Carmelo Anthony has already discussed how players need to put themselves in safer situations, a point that is sure to be stressed even more moving forward. A team curfew may not be the answer as much as making fundamentally sound decisions along the way will be. That's not to say Early could have predicted anything like this...
The team seems to have the right mind set. Here's to hoping Early ends up recovering nicely, not only en route to getting back on the court, but also overcoming this incident as an individual. Facing this can't be easy for a young player.