New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee. His surgeon provided a major update on the status of the injury.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 is a day that will forever define the career of New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Mere weeks before he was slated to appear in his first career All-Star Game, Porzingis came down awkwardly after a posterizing dunk and tore the ACL in his left knee.
The road to recovery will be the first significant NBA test of Porzingis’ will power, resilience, and strength in the face of adversity—both on and off the court.
Porzingis has been heralded for his work ethic, which has inevitably birthed the belief that he’ll come back stronger than ever. Doubt creeps in, however, when one considers the history of players his size and their attempts to overcome lower-body injuries.
In the second episode of the Porzingis’ Comeback series on YouTube, it was revealed that Porzingis’ ACL tear was clean in the sense that it didn’t impact other cartilage or ligaments.
For those who can’t access the video, Porzingis’ orthopedic surgeon, David W. Altchek, had the following to say about the injury:
"“Your particular version of the injury has the best prognosis because you didn’t have any cartilage injury, any other ligament injury; none of the complicating negative factors. Which quite honestly, we usually see in NBA ACLs. So this is awesome.”"
An ACL tear is concerning no matter how positive the prognosis, but it’s understandable to be encouraged by this revelation.
Standing at 7’3″, Porzingis is in a different situation than most when it comes to recovering from a knee injury. He has longer limbs than a vast majority of players in NBA history, and thus lands differently than most when coming down from a vertical leap.
As a rim-protecting big man who plays above the rim on offense, as well, that truth has led many to ponder if he’ll be able to remain healthy moving forward.
Sampson and Ming had similar measurements to Porzingis, and were dominant forces when healthy. They also failed to recover from their laundry list of injuries, which many have accredited to the complications of recovering from lower-body injuries while standing over 7’0″ tall.
Thankfully, Porzingis received promising news, and projects to be able to return to his All-Star level of play—so long as preventative measures are taken moving forward.
There’s still a long road ahead for Kristaps Porzingis, but the New York Knicks should be thrilled to know that he avoided residual damage.