The Mavericks announced at practice Thursday that Kristaps Porzingis will miss both of the games on the upcoming back-to-back against the Lakers and 76ers.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle announced the news, additionally saying there’s a chance Porzingis could return sometime during the Mavericks West Coast road trip next week. After playing the 76ers in Dallas on Saturday, the Mavericks next game is against the Warriors on Tuesday.
Carlisle also declined to go into further detail about the injury. So far, the team has only described it as knee soreness. Porzingis did something to his right knee (not the knee he had ACL surgery on) sometime during the game against the Lakers on Dec. 29. He was then a late scratch on New Year’s Eve against the Thunder, telling the training staff that his knee didn’t feel right during pregame warmups.
Porzingis will now have missed seven games after this weekend. The Mavericks are 2-3 in the five games Porzingis has missed so far.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon shed some additional light on the injury, with sources telling him Porzingis recently had a platelet-rich-plasma injection in the injured knee during his rehab. Jeff Stotts from InStreetClothes.com described what the injection is back in 2014 when Dwight Howard first got it during treatment:
In the traditional PRP treatment, like the one Howard reportedly received, a sample of the injured athlete’s blood is taken and broken down in a machine known as a centrifuge. A protein-concentrated mixture is removed from the sample and injected into the injury site. The PRP mixture is filled with platelets, the primary component of blood responsible for clotting. Increasing the platelet count speeds up the body’s natural healing response and allows it to work more efficiently.
This is a fairly common procedure for knee injuries and MacMahon’s sources say the injection hasn’t extended the rehab or recovery time. Complicating matters has been Porzingis being ill this week, which has delayed his ability to practice, which matters when trying to gain clearance from the coaching staff to return.
It’s been a frustrating few weeks for Mavericks fans, as the team has been very vague about the injury and Porzingis’ return. Porzingis has never been ruled out of two games in advance before today — he’s typically been ruled out the day before or the day of a game, with Carlisle and Porzingis always expressing optimism that he’s doing well and will return soon. That’s led to fans hoping Porzingis’ return is just around the corner, just to be met with disappointing news that he still isn’t healthy enough to play.
Hopefully with this injection and Porzingis shaking this illness, he’ll be able to get back on the court in game action soon. The only silver-lining to his absence has been it’s underlined just how crucial Porzingis is to what the Mavericks want to do. Dallas has been killed on the defensive end at the rim and on the boards without their best rebounder and rim protector on the floor. They also really miss his spacing as the Mavericks offense has been gummed up a time or two in this five-game stretch, especially in crunch time.