Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Report: Kristaps Porzingis expected to miss 'a minimum of several games' with soleus strain

The Celtics will be without Kristaps Porzingis when they host the Miami Heat in a potential close-out Game 5 at TD Garden tonight.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Porzingis is expected to miss "a minimum of several games" with a soleus strain in his right calf following a scan Tuesday. The 7-foot-3 big man sustained the injury late in the first half of the team's 102-88 victory in Game 4 Monday.

Porzingis exited immediately to the locker room and did not return, despite being listed as doubtful at halftime, before being seen leaving Kaseya Center in a walking boot after the game. He posted a tweet giving Derrick White a shout-out on his 38-point performance and thanking the C's fans for their support.

NBA insider Shams Charania, reported earlier today that Porzingis is likely to be treated on a week-to-week basis and depending on his rehab could be out at least 1-2 weeks or possibly more.

While the Celtics have been successful in Porzingis' absence during the regular season -- posting a 21-4 record in games he's sat out -- there is optimism within the team that the goal of contending for a championship remains the same even without their starting center for the time being and it's time for others to step up.
"All season it's kind of been that way," Al Horford said in his post Game 5 presser. "You know, whether it's -- for different reasons, KP wasn't always playing all the time, so Luke [Kornet], Xavier [Tillman], Neemy [Neemias Queta] have to kind of be ready to step up and answer the call. They've been doing a good job of that all year. Obviously, it's the playoffs now and it's different, but I have confidence in those guys. They need to come in and bring energy and impact the game."
Porzinigis in 57 games played in his first season in Boston averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 51.6% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc.

In this opening-round best-of-7 series against Miami, Porzinigs' numbers had dipped to just 12.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest on 38.9% from the floor and 40.0% from long distance.

The Celtics will look to advance into the second round with a win tonight to eliminate the Heat. NBC Sports Boston has the tip-off at 7:30 pm ET. 

**Updated at 7:27 pm**

Chris Haynes of TNT, gave an update just prior to the Celtics and Heat tipping off Game 5 that Porzingis' earliest return would be the Eastern Conference Finals if Boston were to make it beyond this round and next.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Boston Globe

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