The New York Knicks were dealt a brutal blow during the 2017-18 NBA season when Kristaps Porzingis suffered a torn ACL. It occurred during early February and not only ended his season but left his potential to return during the current year up in the air. There have been plenty of rumblings surrounding the potential return of Porzingis, but very little that’s concrete has been reported.
While the Knicks obviously hope to get their 23-year-old All-Star back sooner than later, they remain focused on the long-term outlook. Although the team currently has some intriguing talent, they have the potential to land a top-tier free agent during the 2019 offseason and would likely have Porzingis at close to 100 percent.
Let’s take a look at the timeline of news on the Knicks star, and run down the most recent tidbits which have come to light on his injury.
Knicks and Porzingis Both Waiting Until He’s 110 Percent
During the Knicks’ media day ahead of the season, Porzingis stated there’s “no timetable yet” while revealing he’ll be back when he’s “110 percent,” per Joe Pantorno of Metro.us.
“Timetable, there’s no timetable yet,” Porzingis said. “Whenever I’m ready, I’m going to be back.”
“I’m getting itchy and I want to be back on the court as soon as possible,” he continued. “But it won’t happen until I am 110-percent and medically cleared.”
Just prior to that, ESPN’s Ian Begley detailed that Knicks president Steve Mills made it known the team wants to make sure not to do anything to jeopardize Porzingis’ long-term health.
It’s apparent both sides are far less concerned about this season as opposed to the future outlook for the 7-foot-3 forward and the team. Porzingis is coming off a season in which he averaged a career-best 22.7 points per game with 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over 48 games played.
Porzingis Running Some, But Leading on Sidelines
The good news is that Porzingis has started running again, which he revealed roughly one month ago. That bodes well for his timeline moving forward but as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News revealed, the forward has yet to be cleared to sprint.
Fortunately, while Porzingis has been watching his Knicks teammates from the sidelines, he’s apparently been one of their biggest fans and coaches. As Derrel Jazz Johnson of amNew York cited, Porzingis’ teammates have raved about his leadership off the court.
“Every time he’s out there, it just gives us so much confidence,” center Enes Kanter told amNewYork of Porzingis being with the team during games. “Seeing an All-Star like that cheering for you, clapping [for] you, it just gives you so much motivation.”
“He’s really involved,” guard Frank Ntilikina said. “He’s a great leader. Even if he’s not in the game playing with us, he’s trying to give advice.”
Obviously, Knicks fans would much prefer to see Porzingis on the sidelines, but for the time being, they’ll have to settle for the young star acting as a cheerleader.
Source: Heavy Sports