Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Report: Kristaps Porzingis 'expected to return' for Game 1 of NBA Finals

The Celtics could have a clean bill of health for the first time in over a month, as Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly expected to return in time for Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Finals.

According to NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic, Porzingis "has completed multiple scrimmages in recent days and is expected to return to action for Game 1 of the NBA Finals vs. Dallas on Thursday night barring setback."

Porzingis has been nursing a soleus strain in his right calf since April 29, where he sustained the injury during Game 3 against the Miami Heat in round-one, and he appears to ramping up to return to the lineup against his former team in the Mavericks this week.

Despite the Celtics going 9-1 in Porzingis' absence, the seven-footer would be welcomed back with open arms as the team continues their quest to win the franchise's 18th championship banner.

While details of Porzingis' rehab have been unknown for the most part, he has been seen in a growing number of team practices, while also scrimmaging at a high level of intensity.
"He did everything the team did. We'll go significantly harder [Sunday]," Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters on Saturday. "Today was moderate but he went through everything that the team did today."
Though it's not likely he'll be near 100-percent, there's still a role for Porzingis as he works his way back into game shape -- which probably means some minutes restrictions to start also.

The Celtics host the Mavericks in Game 1 Thursday night and ABC has the tip-off at 8:30 pm ET. 

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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