Late Friday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks announced that center Kristaps Porzingis underwent surgery on his right knee to repair damage he sustained during the playoffs.
“Porzingis will begin rehab immediately and there is no timetable set at this time,” the Mavericks said in their statement.
During Game 1 of the Mavericks series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Porzingis tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee. He was able to play with the injury and through the pain for the next two games before the Mavericks decided to deactivate him for the rest of the series.
For Games 4 and 5 of the series, the injury report listed Porzingis as questionable with lingering right knee soreness. Head coach Rick Carlisle hinted at the severity of Porzingis’ injury prior to a crucial Game 6 for his team.
“KP is working around the clock with Casey [Smith] and Dionne [Calhoun] and Valdi [Manuel Valdivieso]—the medical people that are here,” Carlisle said. “He doesn’t want to close the door on playing, but I’m just not optimistic watching how this is going.”
Soon thereafter, the Mavericks revealed Porzingis’ injury and that he would not be suiting up again against the Clippers.
“It’s super disappointing. Super frustrating,” Porzingis said when he addressed the media for the first time after the team made his injury public. “But I learned how to accept that feeling and look forward. I’m not sure [about needing surgery]. We’re hoping with the injections that I did could help. It depends on how I’m going to feel in the next few weeks.”
Porzingis was hopeful that he could return to play if the Mavericks advanced beyond the first round. He didn’t get the opportunity to test his recovery, though. The Clippers eliminated the Mavericks in six games.
“If this is the end for my season, it has a bitter end,” Porzingis said. “Although I think my year, as it went on, I got into a better rhythm, and I started playing better basketball.”
In three playoff games, Porzingis averaged 23.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, and one block while shooting 52.5% from the floor and 52.9% from deep.