Kristaps Porzingis Discusses Target Date to Rejoin Celtics' Playoff Run: 'Doing Everything I Can'

Apr 29, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) turns on Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro.
Apr 29, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) turns on Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro. / Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night at the Amway Center, the Orlando Magic forced a Game 7 in their first-round series vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers. That's welcome news for the Boston Celtics, who are temporarily without Kristaps Porzingis.

Given that the timetable to return from a mild soleus strain, the right calf injury the former All-Star suffered late in the first half of Boston's Game 4 win over the Miami Heat, is two-to-three weeks, the most likely outcome is Porzingis doesn't return until the Eastern Conference Finals, provided his team takes care of business against the Magic or Cavaliers.

As the Latvian native attacks his rehab, he provided an update on his timeline to rejoin the Celtics' playoff run.

"We're treating it accordingly," said Porzingis while discussing what the team's medical staff has told him about his injury on Saturday at the Auerbach Center. 

"I'm getting better every day. So, (I'm) in a good mood today and every day, I would say. But, of course, it sucks to be out and not be able to play with my guys, but doing what I can now to come back as soon as possible."

The seven-foot-three center continued, "It's something, it's not nothing, you know? So, it will take a little bit of time for sure. But I'm doing everything I can to speed it up because I want to be back out there as soon as possible. 

"But, I'm understanding that the worst thing would be, probably to reaggravate that. So, being smart. And you would have to ask the medical people about the specifics of it. I'm kind of just following the plan, but, yeah, hoping for a return as soon as I start to get better."

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

As for what Porzingis can do right now? 

"I'm not on the floor yet," he conveyed. "But very soon, I expect to start doing stuff. Still in the weight room, still movement and slowly building up and all that and slowly building up. And I would say each day it's a lot of progress. (It's) Still very fresh, but making progress."

The 28-year-old center suffered a similar injury in a loss to the Magic the day after Thanksgiving. However, time is a luxury no longer on his side.

"I think I missed a week and a bit, maybe," Porzingis recalled on Saturday. "But we took it, like, way slow and very cautious. This time around, because of the part of the season that we're in, it's gonna be much more aggressive, I would say. But being smart, and day-by-day, week-by-week, and just seeing how I progress, and, yeah, hoping for quick, quick, quick."

Unfortunately, there's another meaningful difference between that injury and the one he's now dealing with.

"This one is stronger," stated the seven-year veteran. "Worse, yeah. I didn't want to use that word, but yeah, it's a little bit worse, for sure. And yeah, (I'm) just going to take a little bit longer, probably. But keeping a positive mindset."

As he works on his recovery and keeping his spirits high, Porzingis, who intends to travel with the Celtics for road games, though he still needs to speak with the organization's medical team about that, shared that it's too early in the rehab process to set a target date for his return to the lineup.

"There’s no specific date. Obviously, it's still pretty early. I think it will be clearer once I start doing more stuff. Once I start doing more stuff, it will be clearer. But yeah, not super close yet. Not super close yet. But expecting to recover at a historic rate."

Porzingis said that currently calls for him to "control the inflammation – start to do some movements and stuff without stretching it too much, and today I had a pretty good day. (I) made some steps forward; (I'll) start doing new stuff today again, and tomorrow (I) will do some recovery stuff, and (on) Monday, I think again I will make a big jump. Every day, (a) pretty big jump each day. I expect Monday to be really good and then go from there."

Like the Celtics, embracing a "win the day" mantra will aid in his recovery and keep his spirits high as he works to rejoin their quest for Banner 18.

Further Reading

Jayson Tatum Details How Celtics Combatting Opponents Trying to Out-Tough Them

Maturity a Source of Confidence for Celtics: 'We're Graduating'

Celtics Discuss Added Significance of Eliminating Heat: 'Wanted to Play Miami'

The Latest on Celtics' Center Kristaps Porzingis' Calf Injury Timetable

Derrick White Praises Teammates for Career Night: 'Credit Goes to Them'

'Burned Inside': Kristaps Porzingis Bounces Back from 'Worst Game as a Celtic'

Celtics Right the Wrongs of Game 2 to Take 2-1 Lead Over Heat

Jayson Tatum Discusses First-Career Playoff Triple-Double: 'A Beautiful Game'

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Bobby Krivitsky


Bobby Krivitsky's experiences include covering the NBA as a credentialed reporter for Basketball Insiders. He's also a national sports talk host for SportsMap Radio, a network airing on 96 radio stations throughout the country. Additionally, he was a major-market host, update anchor, and producer for IMG Audio, and he worked for Bleacher Report as an NFL and NBA columnist.