Per Shams Charania, Kristaps Porzingis is cleared to play in tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Dallas Mavericks star Kristaps Porzingis is set to make his season debut tonight against the New Orleans Pelicans, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Porzingis missed the first nine games of the season due to offseason knee surgery.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 11, 2021
It will be Porzingis’s first action since a knee injury knocked him out of the last season’s playoff series against the Clippers. He underwent surgery on his right knee to repair a lateral meniscus in October, and since then has been rehabbing back to game action.
His return had been brewing for the past week or so as Porzingis began taking part in full speed practices, but the official date of his return was never made final by Coach Rick Carlisle. He was abruptly listed as questionable on Sunday, marking the first time his availability was anything other than “out.”
If Porzingis is really ready to roll, it comes at a great time seeing as the Mavericks are already down two starters in Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson, as well as Jalen Brunson, who are all quarantining in Denver.
The stability of the starting lineup went from bad to worse after it was reported that Maxi Kleber, who had entered the starting lineup with fellow big man Willie Cauley-Stein, had also tested positive for COVID-19 and would be unavailable for 10 to 14 days. Despite the reported positive test, Kleber was still listed as “questionable” on last night’s official injury report.
The Mavs’ practice facility has been shut down after the team’s second positive test in three days, sources said. Maxi Kleber started self-isolation this morning. Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson still quarantining in Denver. Contact tracing being done now.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 10, 2021