While all signs pointed toward Kristaps Porzingis making his return to the court on Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center, the Dallas Mavericks center didn’t make an appearance in their 127-123 win against the Sacramento Kings.
He was a late scratch due to a lingering right knee injury — the opposite knee that he tore his ACL in during the 2017-18 season — that has now kept him out of nine straight games.
“[My knee] felt great yesterday,” Porzingis said after the game, via the Dallas Morning News. “I had a solid workout, 25 or 30 minutes. Felt good. Didn’t feel any sharp pain or anything like that. And today I kind of felt it a little bit when I started warming up. I felt it more and more and I told the medical staff.”
Porzingis speaks. Pain was gone. Returned tonight. pic.twitter.com/swEvYAOmfm— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 16, 2020
Porzingis hasn’t played since Dec. 29, when he tweaked his knee in the Mavericks’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. Dallas has gone 5-4 without him over that stretch behind several incredible performances from Luka Doncic, who recorded his 20th career triple-double on Wednesday with 25 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds.
Given his history with injuries — Porzingis missed all of last season in Dallas recovering from the ACL injury he suffered with the New York Knicks the year prior — it’s understandable some would be concerned seeing the 7-foot-3 big man still sitting injured on the bench with something as minuscule as knee soreness.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, however, isn’t too worried about it — at least not yet.
“Hopefully he feels better tomorrow and we’ll just continue to move forward and hope he continues to feel better,” Carlisle said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He was doing real well on a day-to-day basis. It just didn’t feel quite right before the game. So we’re not messing with it.”
Porzingis, who has averaged 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds in 31 games this season for the Mavericks, is more than ready to get back on the court, too. Whenever the medical staff tells him he’s good to go, he said, he’ll be right back out there.
The 24-year-old just isn’t quite sure when that’ll be.
“I was so hyped today and yesterday. I wanted to play so bad,” Porzingis said, via the Dallas Morning News. “It is what it is. These things happen and we’ve got to think of the long-term. And I’ll be fine.”
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