David Fizdale on Thursday provided Knicks beat reporters with an update on where Kristaps Porzingis is at in his recovery from a torn ACL, explaining that KP is still very much in the rehab portion of the process while staying mum on whether the big man might return at some point this season.
Roughly nine months after Porzingis injured himself in the aftermath of a dunk over Giannis Antetokounmpo, the New York Knicks head coach continued to follow the company line and refused to speculate on a potential timetable for KP’s comeback.
“He’s grinding, trying to get it right,” Fizdale said, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. “It’s just one of those injuries we’re going to take our time with, make sure it’s right … he’s got a good rhythm going. We like the routine we got him on right now.”
Porzingis’ current routine includes jogging and light shooting, according to Fizdale, in addition to the many stretching and strength exercises that come with rehabbing a surgically repaired ACL. Additionally, the 7’3” unicorn has not yet started to sprint, Fizdale said, a fact that caused quite the stir on the internet even though it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Porzingis is taking things slow.
Multiple publications seized on the news that Porzingis isn’t sprinting yet, putting up stories featuring flashy headlines that declared things like “Nine Months After ACL Surgery, Kristaps Porzingis Still Can’t Run,” or “Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis Has Made No Progress On The Court, Still Not Able To Sprint Nine Months After Surgery,” or even “Fizdale Utters The Worst-Case Porzingis Scenario For First Time.”
Those types of headlines are designed to scare Knicks fans into clicking on the article so they can find out what in the hell has gone wrong with KP’s recovery, but the truth is that nothing Fizdale said indicated there have been any problems at all. In reality, the facts are simple. Porzingis is rehabbing from a serious knee injury and the timing of when he might return remains uncertain.
In the midst of all the hullabaloo, Porzingis late Thursday night appeared to coyly respond to the reports that he isn’t able to sprint via a series of posts to his Instagram story. The first two posts are still images that show Porzingis sprinting on an outdoor track.
The final post is an image of Khabib Nurmagomedov, along with the UFC Lightweight Champion’s signature catchphrase: “this is number one bullshit.”
It may still be unclear when Porzingis is going to return to the court, but KP has already been noticeably present on the Knicks bench during home games, something that is comfort food for fans and is also important for the team’s overall camaraderie. Porzingis has actually expressed a desire to travel with the team on some road trips, Fizdale said, which suggests that KP is indeed the leader he seemed like he was during his remarkable run last season.
“When it’s right it’s right and we’ll do it,” Fizdale said. “He’s been leading. He’s been engaged. He’s been doing everything we asked of him.”