Dallas star Kristaps Porzingis won’t be ready to go for the start of the season next month after undergoing knee surgery, Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson confirmed on Monday.
Porzingis hurt his right knee during the their opening-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers last season, and underwent surgery to address “a lateral meniscus injury” in early October.
“He’s going to [return sometime] into the season," Nelson said, via the Dallas Morning News. "We’re very, very particular about bringing him back at the right time. It’s not going to be a rush. We’ve got long-term vision when it comes to his rehab.”
Kristaps Porzingis’ latest knee issue
Porzingis hurt his knee during Game 1 of their series with the Clippers inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World, though played in Games 2 and 3 before the team finally shut him down. Dallas pushed that series to six games.
The 25-year-old suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in 2018 while he was with the New York Knicks, and missed all of the 2019-20 season recovering. He averaged 20.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game last season, his first on the floor with the Mavericks.
While his injury this time is in a different knee, it’s clear the Mavericks aren’t willing to rush the 7-foot-3 center back too soon — especially during an offseason that marks the shortest in league history by far.
Though Porzingis won’t be ready for the season on Dec. 22, Nelson said he expects that center Dwight Powell will.
Powell tore his Achilles in January and underwent surgery immediately after. The 29-year-old averaged 9.4 points and 5.7 rebounds for Dallas last season, his sixth in the league.
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