Friday, June 28, 2024

Kristaps Porzingis underwent successful surgery, will be out 5-6 months

Kristaps Porzingis underwent ssuccessful surgery repair a torn retinaculum and dislocated posterior tibialis tendon in his left ankle, the Celtics announced Thursday.

The seven-footer's recovery is expected take between 5-6 months, which means Porzingis' possible return won't be until November or December.
"Surgery went great. I think the way it impacts us is just making sure that we have the right amount of bodies at the start of the season," Brad Stevens said in his Friday presser. "But, obviously he'll be back at some point soon into the season and we'll go from there. Our guys did a really good job playing without him this year, and figuring out the best way to navigate those times. There's no question we're better when he's on the floor."
"So, we'll get him back when he's fully healthy, get him ready to go, and let him do his little WWE entrance in the Garden whenever that time comes. Maybe we'll need a jolt in December or whenever that time is and it will be a good little evening."
Earlier in the week, Stevens spoke prior to the NBA Draft about Porzingis having surgery in the upcoming days and that he would miss the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics with Latvia. But it wasn't until his appearance on the Ryan Russillo Podcast when Stevens mentioned that Porzingis would likely still be out to start the 2024-25 season.
"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 told Russillo 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."
Despite Porzingis missing 25 games during the regular season, the Celtics went 64-18, which was the franchise's best record since the 2007-08 campaign. They also went 16-3 in the postseason -- including going 11-2 without Porzingis in the lineup.

Porzingis suffered a soleus strain in his right calf in Game 2 of the opening round against the Miami Heat, that had him sidelined for over a month, only to make a return in Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a 20-point performance off the bench -- before sustaining the rare leg injury to his left ankle in Game 2 against the Dallas Mavericks, forcing him to sit out Game 3 and 4 on the road.

Following the Celtics' championship clinching win in Game 5, Joe Mazzulla spoke about how Prozingis went against the team's medical staff's decision to not play, but the big man made sure to be on the floor despite being in pain -- scoring five points in 16 minutes of action.
"It was like, 'We don't know how long this series is going to go on for, so let's save him from himself. He's trying to play, so let's see if he can get through a game or two,'" Mazzulla said of Porzingis on an episode of the "Pardon My Take" Podcast last week. "When it was Game 5 at home it was like, 'Hey, this might be it; I gotta be out there.'
"So he was like, 'Hey, I'm playing.' So he overrode the medical team there and was like, I'm playing. So credit to him."
In his first season in Boston, Porzingis finished with averages of 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per contest.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of The Associated Press

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