New York Knicks coach David Fizdale provided a very bleak update today about the status of team centerpiece Kristaps Porzingis, who hasn’t played since he tore his ACL in a game against the Bucks on Feb. 6 last season. Even after nine months of recovery, Porzingis still isn’t fully able to run, and—perhaps even more concerning—he hasn’t added anything to his rehab since before training camp. Via the New York Daily News:
The Latvian is still not sprinting, according to coach David Fizdale, and remains at about the same level as prior to training camp: he’s shooting and jogging lightly.
“He’s still kind of there,” Fizdale said. “Not huge jumps.”
It’s not exactly that Porzingis is alarmingly behind schedule—Jabari Parker took a year to recover from his ACL tear in 2017, and Zach LaVine took about 11 months—but the lack of progress certainly isn’t good, and Fizdale was noncommittal when asked if Porzingis would return to the court this season. For the big man himself, this couldn’t be happening at a worse time—the Knicks elected not to extend his contract ahead of the Oct. 15 deadline, which means Porzingis will become a restricted free agent next summer. If he doesn’t get a chance to play at full strength before then, it’ll likely cost him millions of dollars.
The Knicks, in the meantime, have been forced to rely heavily on Tim Hardaway Jr. for their points outside, and Enes Kanter down low—two players who, if you somehow combined them, probably equal one healthy Kristaps Porzingis. They’re 4-8 to start the season.
Update (12:57 a.m. ET): Kristaps has fired back! He posted photos on his Insta story where he seems like he’s sprinting.