The Jalen Brunson scare did not last long.
The star point guard returned from a one-game absence and was in the starting lineup for the Knicks’ game against the Pacers on Saturday at the Garden.
Earlier, Brunson had been called a game-time decision with a sprained right ankle that would not allow him to play in Thursday’s loss to the Mavericks and that represented one of the most significant worries of the Knicks’ season.
But Brunson, who suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s win over the Grizzlies, avoided a serious sprain and was back on the court just four days later.
The Knicks, who also welcomed Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to the team, were thrilled to again field a representative roster.
Without Brunson and several subtracted at the trade deadline Thursday, Deuce McBride started at point guard (and scored 21 points but on 22 shots) for a team that had just eight bodies available.
Brunson, of course, has become the most important body, even with Julius Randle, OG Anunoby and Mitchell Robinson out with injury.
The first-time All-Star point guard entered play averaging 27.2 points and 6.5 assists per game during a career-best season that has catapulted the Knicks into true contention.
It is not just that Brunson has been brilliant but that he has been consistently brilliant: He has played in 50 of the Knicks’ 53 games.
Brunson had not talked to media since the injury but spoke Friday night on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” telling the comedian that “everything’s good” with his ankle. Asked if he will return soon, Brunson said, “We’ll see.”
After an apparently acceptable warmup, the Knicks and Brunson saw him return to action.