New York Knicks All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis underwent surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Tuesday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
The team did not provide a timeline for Porzingis’ return, but ESPN reports that the 7-foot-3 Latvian is expected to be out for at least 10 months, the standard timeline for a torn ACL return.
The surgery took place exactly one week after Porzingis’ knee buckled as he landed after a dunk against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 6.
The injury and surgery come at a difficult time for Porzingis and the Knicks, with the team facing the decision of whether to extend his rookie contract while he’s still recovering. The rehab will be ongoing during his rookie-scale extension window this offseason.
Teammate Enes Kanter told reporters Saturday the 22-year-old forward/center was upbeat when the two spoke Thursday and ready to attack his rehab.
“He’s of course really sad because he wanted to be out there so bad with us,” Kanter said. “But I think at the same time he’s staying really positive. Like, ‘Man I just want to get my surgery done early so I can just start getting my rehab and I can come back and play.’
“I think he’s going to come back even stronger because he’s really hungry.”
Porzingis was averaging 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and an NBA-best 2.4 blocks per game in his third NBA season, earning his first career All-Star selection.
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker will take his place on Team LeBron in the Feb. 18 game.
–Field Level Media