The Knicks released an injury report before their contest with the Raptors on Tuesday, and RJ Barrett was listed as questionable with an illness. However, head coach David Fizdale believes he'll be able to touch the hardwood by tip-off.
"I think it's just a matter of him feeling better in general," Fizdale told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "But I think he'll be ready to go."
Barrett affirmed those remarks from Fizdale, saying that he is feeling better since missing Sunday night's contest against the Nets.
"I mean if you look at the game before - who did we play, San Antonio - I was coughing like crazy during the game," Barrett said. "But definitely when I got to the arena I started to feel weak. I haven't missed a game since I was like 11. So, for me to not be able to play kind of sucked. I'm happy that it didn't take me too long and I'm feeling better now."
This is Barrett's homecoming, as family and friends from Toronto will flock to see him play in Canada for the first time as a Knick. The Raptors are reportedly putting together a tribute video to play for Barrett, but it would be a waste if he isn't able to play.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to play in front of the crowd, to be back home," Barrett said. "Haven't gotten a lot of chances to play at home so for me it's going to be exciting."
Fizdale recognizes how much this game means for his rookie guard.
"It's always good to go home and play in front of your family and friends that's known you your whole life," Fizdale said. "I know he wants to go up there and perform for them.
"I don't think he wants to miss this one."
So far across his rookie campaign, Barrett is averaging 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game. And he'll certainly look to produce for the Knicks in front of his loved ones.
"Can't miss tomorrow night. I got to go play for everybody I love," he said.
"I'm wearing a little something for them tomorrow on the court. I can't tell you nothing. It's going to be a little something. It means a lot. Everybody kind of feels something for where they grew up, where they came from. For me, Canada, the whole country had my back. I love them for that."