Knicks rookie power forward Obi Toppin has been cleared to play in Wednesday’s match vs. the Nets, though it’s still unclear if he will get minutes.
Three days ago, Tom Thibodeau said Toppin, who has been out since the season opener with a calf strain, hadn’t been cleared for contact and was only doing 1-on-0 drills. Thibodeau said he still had to do 1-on-1, 2-on-2, 3-on-3, 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 drills and “patience” is needed.
Toppin was listed as “out” on the official injury report submitted to the league Tuesday night.
As reported Tuesday, newly signed Taj Gibson is available for action. If last season’s starting center sees minutes, that will lessen the chances of Toppin playing, though the Knicks are thin at the power-forward position. After a solid preseason debut, Toppin, the former Dayton power forward who won college player of the year awards, had only modest success.
In his regular-season debut on Dec. 23 in Indiana, Toppin was a mixed bag and seemed to stray too much on the perimeter, launching seven 3-pointers. He was 3 of 12 from the field overall in 24 minutes, finishing with nine points.
Even his mother, Roni Toppin, told The Post on Christmas he’d like to see her son play inside more.
“In Dayton, he was more around the rim and now he’s more on the perimeter,” Roni said. “I feel like he’s a killer around the rim. He was national player of the year because of what he did around the rim. They’re pressing him to be a great all-around player so I trust them. They’re not setting him up to fail. They’re setting him up to be great.”