Kristaps Porzingis has a long road to recovery and Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier thinks there’s a chance that he misses all of next season for the New York Knicks.
No one really knows just how long Kristaps Porzingis’ devastating ACL injury will keep him out of action for. The main goal for the New York Knicks is to make sure he is returning 100 percent healthy.
Also had a conversation with Walt Frazier about Kristaps Porzingis— he said he doesn’t see him playing next season AT ALL #Knicks
— Justine Ward (@JustineBWard) May 8, 2018
This is certainly not the news Knicks fans want to hear. The initial injury was bad enough, but losing the franchise cornerstone for an entire season seems like it would be a tough pill to swallow. But unfortunately, it may become a reality for David Fizdale and his team.
It’s not impossible for Fizdale and the Knicks to make a push at the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference next season—but the likelihood of that happening is still quite low. Next year is likely to be a wash for the Knicks that will result in a high lottery pick.
With that in mind, it would be unwise to rush KP back to play for a team with little to play for. If the Knicks are embroiled in a playoff race come February of 2019, you can bet that Porzingis will be working his hardest to return to the team—but don’t get your hopes up for that.
If the Knicks want to take a super-cautious approach, they’ll shut Porzingis down for the entire season—but that isn’t the only approach they can take.
When Paul George was returning from a debilitating compound fracture in his right leg, he nearly missed the entire 2014-2015 season. But rather than holding him out for the entire season, the Indiana Pacers let him play limited minutes in April to help him get reacclimated to the game after such a long layoff.
Rather than holding him out for the entire season, the Knicks could employ this same strategy with KP in order to let him get his feet wet prior to the 2019-2020 season in which the team will be facing playoff expectations.
All of this is a long way off, but the team’s future is so closely intertwined with Porzingis’ recovery that it’s hard not to look forward towards KP’s eventual return.