Storyline: Kristaps Porzingis Injury

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All that said, a lot of the fan base has wondered if the Mavericks’ stance on Porzingis sitting out would change ‘IF’ the team ended up making it to the postseason over this last stretch of games. Would getting hot late tempt them to change their minds? According to Mavs owner Mark Cuban, the answer to that question is ‘no.’ “He is (still) out,” Cuban tells me on Monday afternoon, and than means regardless of what happens with the Mavs the rest of this season. While some might question the Mavs’ thinking there, I can understand where they’re coming from. If Dallas makes the postseason, there will have to be some excellent basketball played during this final 25-game stretch. If that happens, the team would be playing well enough that inserting Porzingis into the equation “cold turkey” wouldn’t make much sense, and might actually hurt their chemistry at that point.

Although the Dallas Mavericks have already acknowledged that Kristaps Porzingis won’t play in any games until next season, that hasn’t stopped them from laying the groundwork on what to expect from the 7-3 power forward. “Yesterday I had a chance to meet with Kristaps about how we see his role developing here,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Saturday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “We showed him some film, we showed him some things involving Dirk (Nowitzki), some things involving some of the other top big men in the league that can play both outside and inside.”

A person with knowledge of the meeting said it was requested by the Porzingis brothers — after they had canceled a similar meeting earlier in January — and that it lasted less than five minutes. Later in the day, according to the person, Janis Porzingis provided the Knicks with a list of four teams he and Kristaps had deemed acceptable trade destinations. The Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers were among those teams, but Dallas was not on the list. The Knicks, meanwhile, were told Porzingis was prepared to leave the team and continue his knee rehabilitation in Spain if he was not moved by this week’s league trade deadline.

Kristaps Porzingis’ return date remains uncertain. That won’t change for some time. He is scheduled to be evaluated again in mid-February. His return from a torn ACL wouldn’t come before then. It may not even come until next season. When David Fizdale watched his star’s individual workout Friday, the coach had to remind himself of all of that. It was hard to accept that the All-Star throwing down dunks, and shooting 3-pointers, might not be available to him this season.

While watching Porzingis work with assistant coach Kaleb Canales, Fizdale said he’s seen little hint of the injury which has kept the Knicks’ franchise player out all season, and praised his ability to maintain a “positive” mindset. “I don’t see a drop. That I don’t see. I haven’t seen him move in a way that makes me go, ‘Uh oh,’ ” Fizdale said before Friday’s game against the Pacers. “I think we’re going about it the right way. His body looks great. He looks strong. He’s defined. It’s just a matter of time, and when we get him, we’ll be happy.”

Thomas said Porzingis has “the itch.’’ On Friday, the Knicks released a statement that Porzingis, after the latest round of strength tests, will be reevaluated in mid-February. As such, he won’t return until after the All-Star Break in late February, at earliest. “He’s working really hard, man,’’ Thomas told The Post after Mills’ meeting with the media. “He’s in there before everybody. He’s there when everybody leaves. While we practice, he just has that itch. You can just tell — seeing us compete so hard in practice. He comes to me and says, ‘Man, I can’t wait. I got the itch.’ He grabs a basketball on the side and starts dribbling it. He’s working really hard. I know he’s very anxious getting back on the court.”

Fizdale was less definitive about whether Porzingis is coming back this season. “I don’t think it’s at that place [of returning to practice],” Fizdale said. “At some point, I would think. I know he’s feeling better. Obviously his progress, we’re all excited about every step he takes forward. The trainers are keeping me in the loop as possible while letting me focus at the same time so I don’t get my hopes up for [Porzingis] too soon. But hopefully, the sooner the better.”
4 months ago via ESPN

New York Knicks coach David Fizdale said on Friday that he wasn’t aware that Kristaps Porzingis had been sprinting as part of his rehab from last season’s ACL surgery, after Fizdale’s comments the day before led to a misunderstanding that left Porzingis frustrated over the perception of his recovery. On Thursday, Fizdale said that the All-Star big man hadn’t begun sprinting and that he hadn’t made significant progress since the start of training camp. Once the coach’s comments were reported in the media, Porzingis took to Instagram, posting two pictures of himself sprinting on an outdoor track.
4 months ago via ESPN

Fizdale said he discussed the issue with Porzingis on Friday morning at the team practice facility and that player and coach are now on the same page. “We had a great talk about it. He’s working his tail off,” Fizdale said. “I think how he took (media reports of Fizdale’s comments on Thursday) was that people thought he wasn’t busting his hump, he took it personally. It got to him that people would think that. “I think maybe when he heard me say, ‘Hey we’re taking it slow’ and all of that stuff — that’s what we’re doing — but at the same time he (doesn’t) want people thinking that he’s not busting his hump because he’s killing it,” the coach added.

A week before the season starts and eight months since his ACL surgery, Kristaps Porzingis’ progress remains limited to a “slow drip” that’s frustrating the All-Star, according to Knicks coach David Fizdale. In other words, Porzingis is still not sprinting and his recovery timetable has not been affected by the start of training camp. He has not ruled out sitting out the entire season. “He’s feeling better every day, but it’s still that frustrating slow drip for him,” the coach said.

Porzingis is not playing as he recovers from a torn left ACL but he is with the team and active during practice. Tuesday, he was passing, rebounding, and coaching on the court. Fizdale wants to “surround him with a lot of love and keep his spirits up because he really wants to be out here with us.” “He’s such a big part of what we do,” Fizdale said. “A guy that’s that talented, what they see helps others. Maybe his body can’t do it right now but his mind and other aspects of service he can really help this group. That’s what he wants to do.”

Porzingis was on the floor with the team, but unable to participate in any way other than offering his own aid in experience. “He was in every aspect of our practice today,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said. “If he wasn’t passing to a guy he was rebounding for a guy, coaching a guy or he was talking to a coach on what we were doing. It was fun to watch him get engaged with the guys. It’s a tough time for him. So we’re going to surround him with a lot of love and keep his spirits up because he really wants to be out there with us.”

On Sunday, Porzingis released the third installment of his online documentary titled, “Porzingis’ Comeback.” He explained his decision to train at Real Madrid. “They allowed us to use their stuff for the rehab,” Porzingis said. “I chose Madrid because I was looking at different options and this one was the best for me because of their facilities obviously and just overall what they have available here is one of the top in the world.”

Porzingis is also working in Madrid with Larry Sanders, a Michigan-based athletic performance coach who works with the basketball program at Madonna University. Sanders said a big focus is getting both of Porzingis’ feet to explode equally. “He’s going to come back a different monster,” Sanders said in the installment. “His skills are more like a small forward. He was hard to deal with before, but he’ll be much harder to deal with after. He’s got the sense of urgency of a veteran going after his last contract.”
8 months ago via ESPN

“We’ve talked about his rehab. We’ve talked about how we want to play, our style of play. Talked a lot about the culture that we’re building. We wanna make sure that he comes back strong and healthy (from his ACL surgery) and we don’t want to rush it. We’ve had some really good conversations,” Fizdale said. “We talked about the kids we drafted (Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson). I’ve tried to make sure that he’s — we’ve been in communication on every decision that we’ve made.”

After his exit meeting, Porzingis flew to his homeland in Leipaja, Latvia but believes he’s in good hands in Spain, where he played three seasons in the Spanish League and speaks the language fluently. “KP is doing great in Madrid,’’ said Carlon Colker, Porzingis’ performance doctor based in Greenwich, Conn. “His aggressive rehab is at a jaw-dropping rate. In conjunction, his body is already looking beastly. By September, he’ll be almost non-recognizable with his shirt off. We’re working on increasing his lean muscle mass and also training for a functionality and ruggedness to compliment his game.’’

Knicks general manager Scott Perry said there still is no timetable for Kristaps Porzingis’ return from a torn left ACL. Perry said the Knicks would know better late summer August when Porzingis might come back. “I don’t think there’s a determination to be made,” Perry said. “Six, seven months out, you have a better chance to have a better time window. “You talk to most medical doctors, you really can’t pinpoint how many months it’s going to be. [You have] a better estimate six, seven months out after surgery is completed. So who knows when that will be?”

Ian Begley: Joel Embiid returned from significant injury to play at a high level. He was asked if he has any advice for Kristaps Porzingis. Embiid said the time he spent rehabbing helped him develop his game & his body. He says Porzingis can do the same, then offers some playful trash talk: pic.twitter.com/8MyksPh8Y1

Dolan, of course, was referring to Kristaps Porzingis, the 22-year-old wonder child who sustained a torn left ACL on Feb. 6 that ended his season, and whose recovery from surgery will sideline him for an indefinite period of time. “I’ve been told everything from December to him being out for the season, so I don’t know what to expect on that,” Dolan said. “But we can’t just sit on our ass while he’s away. We need to develop a team and then integrate him into it when he comes back.”

Ian Begley: Kristaps Porzingis was asked if his contract situation – he’s up for an extension this summer – would impact anything regarding his decision to return next season from his ACL injury. He said it would not.

Kristaps Porzingis moved well and without a limp as he walked onto the court Saturday night. It was a good sign for a franchise desperately in need of one. Porzingis, who is nearly two months removed from undergoing surgery to repair a torn left ACL, didn’t seem to be favoring the leg as he made his way to center court at Madison Square Garden. Porzingis said hello as he whisked by reporters. He didn’t stop because someone far more important was waiting. Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis was in attendance on Latvian Heritage Night. Porzingis presented Vejonis a personalized jersey and sneakers before the game. The two shook hands and posed for photos.

Dr. Carlon Colker is bubbling with muscles and with optimism regarding his difficult task in resculpting Kristaps Porzingis for next season. “Despite the talk, ‘The sky is falling, he’ll never be the same,’ that’s a bunch of horse s–t,’’ Colker told The Post. “He’ll be better than ever. He’s going to be blow people away. If you’re around people who know what they’re doing, it’s not the end of the world. It’s the end of the world if you have the wrong people around you.”

Colker is part of an aggressive faction regarding ACL timetables. While the Knicks likely won’t let Porzingis play until around Christmas (the 10-month mark) at the earliest, Colker says he’ll have him ready for opening night. Knicks brass is aware of Porzingis’ relationship with Colker. Porzingis and Colker met late last season to take care of a recurring shoulder ailment. Colker implemented an offseason conditioning plan and visited Porzingis in Latvia for two weeks over the summer.
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March 22, 2019 | 4:37 am EDT Update
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