The New York Knicks just received an early Christmas gift today, per Bleacher Report, as Dr. Carlon Colker said that Kristaps Porzingis could return to the Knicks by the start of the regular season. When Porzingis was first diagnosed with his ACL tear in February, it was reported that the recovery time will take up to 10 months.
Dr. Colker, in an interview with the New York Post, said the following.
“Despite the talk, ‘The sky is falling, he’ll never be the same,’ that’s a bunch of horse s–t. He’ll be better than ever. He’s going to blow people away. If you’re around people who know what they’re doing, it’s not the end of the world. It’s the end of the world if you have the wrong people around you.
“We’re bulking him up and giving him more muscle mass and strength, working on his upper body, doing a lot of hamstring work.”
This is great news for a Knicks team that has struggled since Porzingis went down. While the recovery time for this type of injury varies, for Colker to say he’s ahead of schedule is rather encouraging. Colker went on to say that Porzingis “will be better than ever.” That has been one of the issues with players returning from ACL injuries. Their movements are never the same, and some players have never returned to their All-Star form.
However, Colker believes that Porzingis adding on the extra muscle and doing hamstring workouts could get him back playing at a high-level. If so, the Knicks should welcome this news with open arms. Originally set to return in December, there’s a good chance he could be on the floor opening night.
In his absence, the Knicks have had a complete meltdown. From a roster full of point guards, to the Joakim Noah fiasco, and now the possible firing of Jeff Hornacek, Porzingis may return to a team he doesn’t recognize. The Knicks have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and will miss the postseason again for the fifth straight year.
Before his injury, Porzingis was headed to his first ever NBA All-Star appearance, averaging 22.7 points, 2.4 blocks, and 6.6 rebounds, while shooting 44 percent from the floor. The Knicks have been led by Tim Hardaway, Enes Kanter, Michael Beasley, and a slew of point guards in his absence as they try to find their footing without their top player.
His return by the opener gives the team leverage during the offseason, as the Knicks will try to recruit top free agents like LeBron James or Paul George. Without Porzingis healthy, players may have been worried about coming to New York. However, this news could ease a lot of worried players and give the Knicks hope moving forward.