New York Knicks coach David Fizdale and Kristaps Porzingis seem to have differing opinions on where the All-Star forward is in his rehab from an ACL injury in his left knee.
Porzingis, 23, injured his knee in February and missed the remainder of last season. The team has been steadfast about not rushing him back and on Thursday, Fizdale said the team hadn’t seen much progress recently.
The coach said Porzingis was limited to shooting and light jogging and wasn’t up to running at a full sprint yet.
“He’s still kind of there … Not huge jumps,” Fizdale said.
Porzingis seemed to respond with photos that appeared to show him sprinting on an outdoor track.
David Fizdale said Kristaps Porzingis is still only jogging lightly
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) November 9, 2018
It’s worth noting there’s no indication of when the photos were taken.
The Knicks have opened the season 4-8 and sport the youngest roster in the NBA.
Uncertain long-term future
In October, the team declined to offer a contract extension for Porzingis in order to free up an expected $10 million to pursue free agents next summer.
Porzingis will be a restricted free agent then and the Knicks are projected to have just more than $30 million available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max value contract in free agency.
“I’m hungry,” Porzingis said at the team’s media day before the season. “I want to be on the court as soon as possible. It’s good that I have a good team around me, holding me back when I need to be held back, telling me I need to be patient. It’s a long process, already 7 1/2 months.
“I’m getting itchy. But it won’t happen until I am 110 percent and medically cleared.”
The 7-foot-3 Latvian wouldn’t rule out missing the entire season, offering only “it’s hard to say” when asked about the possibility.
In 48 games last season, Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Entering his fourth season, he has career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
–Field Level Media