Kristaps Porzingis’ return date remains uncertain. That won’t change for some time.
He is scheduled to be evaluated again in mid-February. His return from a torn ACL wouldn’t come before then. It may not even come until next season.
When David Fizdale watched his star’s individual workout Friday, the coach had to remind himself of all of that. It was hard to accept that the All-Star throwing down dunks, and shooting 3-pointers, might not be available to him this season.
It was easy to envision what the Knicks could look like when Fizdale can play Porzingis for the first time.
“Today, I walked by and just put my hand up [in front of my face] because it’s just for me, it’s like, ‘God, I’ve got this 7-foot beast here,’” Fizdale said. “[Porzingis] started laughing. He said, ‘Don’t look, coach. Don’t look.’ But he’s progressing, and I think he’s in a really good place right now.
“We’re still being cautious, I would say, but at the same time just pushing, getting to the next level, jumping and moving, his strides and all of that stuff. … He’s in a really, a great groove right now with his workouts and his development.”
While watching Porzingis work with assistant coach Kaleb Canales, Fizdale said he’s seen little hint of the injury which has kept the Knicks’ franchise player out all season, and praised his ability to maintain a “positive” mindset.
“I don’t see a drop. That I don’t see. I haven’t seen him move in a way that makes me go, ‘Uh oh,’ ” Fizdale said before Friday’s game against the Pacers. “I think we’re going about it the right way. His body looks great. He looks strong. He’s defined. It’s just a matter of time, and when we get him, we’ll be happy.
“Obviously he misses playing. That part has been hard. But he’s starting to get stronger so he’s feeling better and he seems to be in a really good place.”
Fizdale said Porzingis is unlikely to travel with the Knicks for Thursday’s game against the Wizards in London, due to the length of the trip.
Enes Kanter (illness) and Frank Ntilikina (ankle) were both out Friday, and are considered day-to-day.