Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/Getty 

Here is a quote from Kristaps Porzingis’s postgame comments last night, in response to a question about when he might return from his ankle sprain, courtesy of ESPN: “I hope it’s next game.... They call me ‘the lizard’ because I recover so quickly from things. So hopefully it’s nothing too big. I’m going to get treatment, stay on top of this, and hopefully the lizard can be ready for Sunday.”

All well and good. However! A careful reader might note that no one has ever anywhere for any reason called Porzingis “the lizard.” A more careful reader might notice that this is not exactly how lizards heal. The most notable characteristic of lizard health is not that they heal quickly, but simply that they heal at all. (Though the idea that they can regrow missing digits or limbs is false—it’s only a missing tail that can be regrown, and not all species can do even that.) The ability to regenerate any body part at all is extremely cool, yes, but it’s not a process that’s necessarily quick and easy. It typically takes more than 60 days. The lizard will often struggle with balance while the tail is growing back, and the amount of energy that must be put toward regeneration can set the little guy at risk for nutritional deficiencies.

Elsewhere in lizard healing: A lizard can repair minor injuries to its skin by shedding. But if an injury is at all deeper than surface-level, it will require multiple shedding cycles to fix, if it can be fixed at all. This takes time.

Lizards are wonderful. But they are not perfect. We need not all aspire to be lizards. Please remember this.