Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When will Kristaps Porzingis return? That’s one of the most pressing questions for the Knicks and David Fizdale remains optimistic.

The Knicks are off to a dreadful start — at least in terms of wins and losses. New York knew this season would be tough sledding, but they were hoping it wouldn’t be this brutal.

Of course, the season would look much different with a healthy Kristaps Porzingis. He’s working his way back from an ACL tear that took the air out of the franchise. When he’ll return to the court is still a mystery to just about everyone.

There has even been some confusion inside Madison Square Garden regarding KP’s progress — that confusion even led to a brief moment where Fizdale and the franchise cornerstone had their signals crossed. Miscommunications aside, Fizdale is optimistic about his star player’s eventual return.

“I don’t think it’s at that place [of returning to practice],” Fizdale said per Marc Berman of the New York Post. “At some point, I would think. I know he’s feeling better. Obviously his progress, we’re all excited about every step he takes forward. The trainers are keeping me in the loop as possible while letting me focus at the same time so I don’t get my hopes up for [Porzingis] too soon. But hopefully, the sooner the better.”

The head coach is singing a much different tune than he was earlier in November when he stated that Porzingis hadn’t even started sprinting yet.

This could signal that a return to the court later this season remains a possibility for the 7-foot-3 Latvian. That would be a huge development for the Knicks for a few reasons. First off, it would give the entire organization a lift that isn’t quantifiable, but it will be impossible to overlook. Moreover, showcasing a healthy Porzingis could help the Knicks attract potential free agents next summer.

The Knicks string of bad losses and questionable lineup tinkering has some questioning whether or not the Knicks are tanking. If Porzingis does return this season, that should end any speculation that the team is racing to the bottom.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.