Kristaps Porzingis’ teammate offers a status update on his rare injury before NBA Finals Game 5

Kristaps Porzingis’ teammate offers a status update on his rare injury before NBA Finals Game 5

Kristaps Porzingisparticipation in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals is hanging in the balance. The Boston Celtics have listed their Latvian star as questionable ahead of their crucial matchup against theDallas Mavericks. This development adds another layer of uncertainty for the Celtics, who are fighting to stay alive in the series.

Teammate Xavier Tillman, who stepped up in Porzingis’ absence during Games 3 and 4, shed some light on the situation during a post-practice press conference on Sunday. Tillman observed Porzingis struggling with his injury in practice, noting the evident pain. “We’ll see. Obviously, like they said, it’s a rare leg injury, so if he’s in excruciating pain and can’t be his best, it might not be worth it,” Tillman said. “When we go through our practices, he’s doing some stuff but you can tell he’s very uncomfortable. Like I said, we don’t want to put him in any type of situation that really would hurt him.”

Porzingis missed Game 3 due to a left posterior tibialis dislocation, an uncommon injury where a tendon slips out of place, causing significant inflammation. According to Sports Illustrated, only 32 cases of this injury have been documented since 2006. Although he was available for Game 4, the Celtics opted not to play him, as they were already facing a significant deficit early in the game.

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The Celtics are now heading into Game 5 at TD Garden with Porzingis’ status still up in the air. The decision to play him will likely come down to a game-time call by the medical team. With the series at a critical juncture, the Celtics must weigh the risks of potentially aggravating Porzingis’ injury against the need for his on-court presence.

Dr. Robert Volk, a former team physician for the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, provided insight into Porzingis’ condition, suggesting that surgery might be inevitable. “Almost every case report that I’m aware of. First of all, it’s a very rare injury, but it is reported in the literature. But every case report that I’ve read, conservative treatment tends to not be very successful. So, especially in a high-level athlete, you usually are gonna undergo surgery to either tighten or recreate that retinaculum,” Volk said. This prognosis casts a shadow over Porzingis’ immediate and long-term future in the league.

Porzingis has faced numerous injuries throughout his career, and this rare leg injury is just the latest setback. Having missed the Eastern Conference semifinals and finals due to a right leg injury, his return was eagerly anticipated by Celtics fans. As the team prepares for Game 5, the uncertainty surrounding Porzingis’ status adds to the drama of the NBA Finals, leaving fans and the team anxiously awaiting the final decision.

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