Kristaps Porzingis Won't Return for Mavericks vs. Pacers Because of Knee Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 30, 2022

Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) shoots against Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

Dallas Mavericks big man Kristaps Porzingis will not return to Saturday's game against the Indiana Pacers with right knee soreness, the team announced.

Porzingis had five points and one rebound in 11 minutes before exiting. 

The 26-year-old has averaged 19.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in his sixth NBA season (third with the Mavs). His 22.4 player efficiency rating is a career-high, per Basketball-Reference.

After a slow 16-18 start, Dallas has rebounded to go 12-3 in their last 15 games, good enough for a 28-21 record and fifth-place mark in the Western Conference.

Unfortunately, the Mavs will have to go forth without Porzingis once again. He has missed multiple games during four different stretches this season, either because of injury or illness.

KP sat five games from Oct. 28-Nov. 3 with lower back tightness. He was sidelined for two more on Dec. 3 and 4 with a left knee contusion and another pair on Dec. 21 and 23 with right foot soreness.

Porzingis then entered the NBA's health-and-safety protocols after the turn of the new year and missed seven games from Jan. 2-14.

Now Porzingis will be out again. Expect Maxi Kleber, who has entered the starting lineup for Porzingis in the past, to play alongside center Dwight Powell in the frontcourt. He's averaging 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Look for Marquese Chriss to see more time off the bench as well.