Kristaps Porzingis is set to have surgery for rare leg injury and will miss Olympics

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One of the key elements behind Boston’s 18th championship title came from a Latvian big man, who powered his way through a rare left leg injury to compete in the NBA Finals against Dallas. Despite his pains, Kristaps Porzingis dominated the court every time he stepped on it during the series, but now must confront surgery “in the coming days.”

The news about his next medical procedure not only was confirmed at the start of this week, but it also guaranteed that he will miss the Olympics playing for his country. The center suffered a torn retinaculum and dislocated posterior tibialis tendon during Game 2 against the Mavericks, missed Game 3 and 4, and eventually returned in Game 5 to conquer the series. 

“The injury doesn’t allow for consistent play at the level required for Olympic competition. Surgery will be performed in the coming days, and further updates will be provided when available,” the Boston club confirmed in a statement. 

As for his recovery, a timeline for his return has yet to be defined, but earlier this month it was said that his process might take a “few months.” Franchise president Brad Stevens revealed that Kristaps is still being evaluated for the next steps.

“Kristaps is still in the middle of consulting with some different doctors and specialists,” the executive said Tuesday on how they expect to proceed with Porzingis. “… We’ll have more of a timeline and recovery after the surgery.”

The European giant, who had been acquired by the Celtics last summer after losing to the Heat in the 2023 Eastern Conference finals, averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Celtics during the regular season. Unfortunately, he suffered a calf strain in Game 4 of his team’s first-round series vs. Miami, but returned a month later for the NBA Finals.

“I think something could have happened, for sure, especially compensating now on the other leg. … There was definitely some added risk, but I didn’t care,” he told ESPN after winning the title and averaging 12.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in the playoffs. “I was like, ‘I want to give everything I can and then fix it after if I need to.”

Porzingis called Mazzulla a “mastermind” after winning the title, and assures that he will live on to become a coaching legend

Kristaps has only been in Boston for one year, and even though he admits his locker room is full of talent, he believes the true reason behind the club’s success is mainly due to the genius of his coach Joe Mazzulla. 

“To be honest, obviously we have the talent,” the big man started out. “But our coaching stuff is incredible, starting with the mastermind Joe Mazzulla. This guy is a psycho, you know, but, man, he knows what he’s doing.”

The Latvian continued to praise the Celtics tactician, going all the way to call him a legend. “He knows the things to say to us and how to get us to this point, and yeah, I love this guys,” KP shared. “Joe Mazzulla’s gonna be a legend one day here for sure, in Boston, like 100%.”

During the championship series, it was Mazzulla who showed admiration for his pupil, who showed great sacrifice to compete despite his injuries. “He’s fighting like hell to play, but it’s going to be up to us to protect him,” Joe assured.