Kristaps Porzingis Injury: Updates on Knicks Star's Shoulder and Recovery

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, left, of Latvia, shoots against Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, right, during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Friday, March 11, 2016. The Clippers won 101-94. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis had his rookie season cut short due to a sore right shoulder, which he injured while blocking a shot on March 28. 

Continue for updates.

Porzingis Comments on Playing in Olympics

Tuesday, April 12

Porzingis told reporters he's "leaning toward not playing" for Latvia in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but he added that there's "nothing definite."

Porzingis Out vs. Pacers

Tuesday, April 12

Knicks interim head coach Kurt Rambis announced that Porzingis won't play in the regular-season finale against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

Latest on Severity of Porzingis' Injury

Friday, April 8

Ian Begley of reported, "Porzingis' shoulder strain is taking a while to heal but there's no serious structural issue."

Rambis Comments on Porzingis' Potential Return, Recovery

Friday, April 8

Begley noted that Rambis said Porzingis is improving, but he's not close to returning to action.

Rambis said on April 1 that Porzingis will not return this season "unless his shoulder is deemed 100 percent healthy," per Begley

On March 31, Rambis said, "It’s my understanding that it can be taken care of, so I anticipate him playing sometime between now and the end of the season," per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Porzingis Comments on Injury 

Thursday, March 31

According to Bondy, Porzingis will have an MRI on Thursday and said, "It’s really sore. I can’t even lift it up." 

Bondy added: "Despite the impairment, the 20-year-old sounded optimistic about playing again this week—whether Friday against the Nets or Sunday against the Pacers. He had issues with his shoulder previously this season but didn’t miss any games."

Porzingis Brings Hope to Knicks Fans for Future

This was a difficult setback for the Knicks because Porzingis’ rookie season has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season.

Many questioned New York’s decision to take the prospect with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 draft, but he has been one of the best rookies in the entire league. He is a 7’3” big man who can stretch the floor with his ability to hit from three-point range and the elbow. He can also score on the low post with soft touch around the rim as an offensive difference-maker.

Porzingis is also an impressive rebounder on both ends of the floor and energized Madison Square Garden with his tip slams early in the campaign.

Thus far, he is averaging 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.

While Porzingis has been a revelation, this is a lost season for the Knicks. The rookie’s long-term development is more important than his return for the stretch run in 2015-16, and the team will likely take that into consideration when assessing when his return.

Porzingis is a critical piece in the Knicks’ rebuilding efforts, and they need him back and healthy heading into the 2016-17 campaign.