Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Brad Stevens expects Kristaps Porzingis to miss start of 2024-25 season

Brad Stevens held his pre-draft press conference Tuesday and confirmed that Kristaps Porzingis will undergo surgery to repair a torn retinaculum and dislocated posterior tibialis tendon in his left ankle.

The Celtics also released a statement via social media that Porzingis would have surgery in the upcoming days, meaning he would miss the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics with Latvia. However, Stevens didn't give a timeline on the 28-year-old big man's recovery.
"Kristaps is still in the middle of consulting with different doctors and specialists," Stevens told reporters Tuesday. "We anticipate surgery will be soon and we'll have more of an update for the timeline of recovery after the surgery."
During his appearance on The Ringer's Ryan Russillo Podcast, Stevens acknowledged that Porzingis would likely miss the start of the 2024-25 season when the Celtics begin their title defense.
"We're going to be different right out of the gate simply because we have guys like Kristaps after his surgery -- we don't know exactly when he'll be back. But he'll probably miss at least the very start of the season," Stevens said Wednesday. "That'll be a great opportunity for us to do things [differently] and have to find different solutions and those types of things that come with it. And then we'll just evaluate our team like we always do."
Porzingis suffered the ankle injury during the third quarter Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Mavericks -- which was the second set-back he had gone through during the postseason after missing over a month of playoff action with a soleus strain in his right calf.

After making a his long-awaited return in Game 1 of the finals with a 20-point performance off the bench, Porzingis missed Game 3 and 4 in Dallas following the left ankle injury. But, he did play 16 minutes and recorded five points -- going against the Celtics' medical staff -- in the team's championship clincher.

Despite playing through pain in Game 5, Porzingis noted that he was not able to move the same way.
"It was, like, something torn. And then my tendon is just out of place. And it pretty much hurts on every step," Porzingis said in his postgame presser. "Like, I would take a walk in Dallas, and my leg would swell up.
"I was like, I don't know how I'm going to play, if I'm going to play. But my mindset was always, I'm going to try to find a way how I can manage this. And, yeah, somehow I got it going for this game. A lot of it was for sure like the adrenaline from just playing at the Garden and playing in front of our fans and having that opportunity to close it out. And, man, I got it going."
The Celtics, who went 11-2 without Porzingis during their championship run, are obviously in no rush to have the 7-foot-2 center back into the lineup. With Al Horford confirming his return next season, there'll be plenty of time for recovery and backup-plans for Stevens to handle. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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