As if the New York Knicks were not having a disappointing season already, now they will have to play out the rest of their schedule without All-Star Kristaps Porzingis. During Tuesday’s game against the Bucks, Porzingis inadvertently landed on Giannis Antetokounmpo’s foot after a dunk. His left ankle seemed to turn on the landing and Porzingis immediately went down clutching his knee. After a few moments, the Knicks’ bench and fans knew something was wrong and Porzingis was helped off the court by two of his teammates. A later MRI revealed the Knicks’s worst fear – a torn ACL in his left knee.
During a post game interview Knicks’ Center Enes Kantor said, “More than a basketball player, he’s my brother. I don’t want to see anyone going down like that, hurting his knee. He’s about to be an All-Star.”
Porzingis had missed two games earlier in the season due to an issue in his left knee and an additional two games because of an ankle injury. Despite these injuries, Porzingis had been leading the team with 22.7 ppg and leading the NBA with 2.4 blocks per game. This ACL injury is leading many to speculate that the Knicks may now have a harder time recruiting elite NBA talent to the struggling franchise and their best option may to drop as low in the standings as possible in an effort to have a higher draft pick in the 2019 season.
ACL injuries are among the most frequent in athletes, especially those athletes whose sports require sharp cutting, planting and pivoting motions. In many cases, these are non-contact injuries caused by the hip being rotated internally when landing.
The likely timetable for Porzingis’ return is about 8-10 months which would mean he would return about a quarter of the way through the Knicks’ 2019 season. Physical Therapy will be imperative to his recovery as he will need to work hard to restore mobility and strength in his knee and to help ensure his chances for re-injuring his ACL is minimized.
At Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, renowned experts Dr. Charles Ruotolo and Dr. Richard McCormack, lead our awarded Knee Team. Fortunately, many patients can be treated non-surgically with a combination of conservative modalities coordinated by the Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Team. If surgery is necessary, the practice uses a multidisciplinary approach to create a treatment plan that focuses on the patient’s lifestyle and activities and helps them get back to those activities quickly and effectively.