Knicks’ RJ Barrett solid in first game back from ‘terrible’ migraines

Knicks’ RJ Barrett solid in first game back from ‘terrible’ migraines

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After returning from a nearly week-long absence because of a debilitating migraine, RJ Barrett said he was rocked by the illness and the pain was “not anything I’d wish on anybody.”

“A lot of stuff going on. It was my first [migraine] as well,” Barrett said. “So definitely wasn’t the best feeling at all. It was terrible, actually. I’m feeling better now, thank God.”

Barrett missed three games after the onset of the migraine and returned Saturday to a predictably bumpy performance with 15 points on 5-for-15 shooting in a 122-108 breeze over the Hornets.

Barrett said he didn’t know what triggered the migraine.

“I wasn’t feeling well. For me, to sit out three games, it definitely was not something fun, at all,” Barrett said.

The 23-year-old warmed up Friday night in Washington with the hopes of playing against the Wizards but still felt physically off. So he pulled himself from the active list and, instead, returned a day later.

RJ Barrett, driving to the basket, scored 15 points in the Knicks’ 122-108 win over the Hornets, his first game back after missing three games due to a migraine.
NBAE via Getty Images

Barrett looked gassed in the first quarter but picked up his production in the second half.

“Right now, I feel better. But obviously not 100 percent,” Barrett said. “But I took a couple days and I felt good enough to play [Saturday].”

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Barrett was surging before the migraines and on pace for career highs in points and 3-point percentage. Recovering that form is now the goal.

“You can’t take that amount of time off and not feel it,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He was in a great rhythm, now we’ve got to get him back in that rhythm.”

RJ Barrett puts up a floater in traffic during the Knicks’ win.
NBAE via Getty Images

Evan Fournier was at a loss.

Sitting with a boot on his right foot because of ankle inflammation, the Frenchman couldn’t understand how the injury happened.

There was no turn of the ankle. He didn’t step hard or make an awkward movement.

“Honestly, I have no clue,” Fournier told The Post.

Either way, a frustrating season continued for Fournier.

He had been situated at the end of the bench as the team awaited an opportunity to use his salary as a trade chip.

But finally Friday against the Wizards — due to the absences of Barrett and Quentin Grimes — Fournier made his first appearance and played meaningful minutes.

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But in the third quarter, he noticed pain in his foot. It sounded like a freak injury.

“It was frustrating because it hurts,” he said. “There’s not much to say, to be honest. It sucks. That’s it.”

Evan Fournier, who is now battling ankle inflammation, puts up a shot during the Knicks’ win over the Wizards.
NBAE via Getty Images

Fournier, who at 31 is the oldest player on the roster, finished with two points in 16 minutes on 1-for-6 shooting, acknowledging he felt out of rhythm.

Still, the Knicks outscored the Wizards by six points with Fournier on the court.

“I felt a little out of rhythm. I haven’t played obviously all year. I guess that was to be expected,” he said. “I don’t know, I was just trying to help somehow.”

Grimes sat out his second straight game with a sprained wrist but already removed the brace.

Grimes, who suffered the injury Wednesday, is technically day-to-day but a source said the expectation is he doesn’t miss more than one more game.

“It’s just a pain tolerance thing, so as soon as he’s comfortable enough, he’ll be out there,” Thibodeau said.

The Knicks visit the Timberwolves on Monday. Donte DiVincenzo replaced Grimes in the lineup Saturday night and scored a career-high 25 points.

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