I think every Celts fan on the planet exhaled with a sigh of relief the second this tweet hit out timelines and everyone hit "translate"
and we learned that Porzingis was going to be shut down and miss the FIBA World Cup. After the reports about this mystery foot injury that the team later called plantar fasciitis, given that the only way to really overcome that is rest, hearing that Porzingis wasn't going to try and play through it was absolutely a relief. Catching something like that in mid August is certainly the best of a bad situation given he'll have a few months to rehab/recover before the season starts, but that doesn't mean there still isn't worry or concern.
The truth is, for as long as Porzingis is a Celtic, there will always be worry or injury concern to my brain. That's why the news of the plantar fasciitis didn't have me suddenly worried, I've been worried every second about his health since June 22nd. Plenty of guys figure out how to play with this type of injury, including a guy who just so happened to win the MVP last season. Would I prefer there was nothing there? Of course! But there's always going to be something there, this is the Boston Celtics and injuries we're talking about here.
For the first time since announcing that he's going to miss the World Cup, Porzingis opened up a little more about the injury and what to expect, so let's have a read (translated into English)
Latvian basketball player Kristaps Porziņgis commented on his current feelings in a conversation with "Sporta Studija", not helping the national team in the World Cup finals due to an injury.
It should be reminded that Porziņgis, who had previously promised to represent the Latvian national team in the first World Cup in history, was unable to recover from a foot injury, which will prevent him from representing the national team in the final tournament. "It's not the ideal scenario that I imagined, but it is what it is," Porziņgis commented on going with the team to PK, but not going on the field. "I wanted to be with the team. I came to continue my recovery process, to support the guys, to be connected with the national team."
Porzingis was also not sure if he would be able to play one match in the finals if necessary. "I don't know, because I haven't tested the foot that much myself. Everything is in the hands of the doctors, because I have never had such an injury. I just felt that I had no options to get in shape and there was no logic in risking an injury," admitted the Liepaja player."The foot hurts after exercise, I feel almost nothing when walking, it's a really funny injury," Porziņgis described the injury. "I have an idea what the origin of the injury might be, but it's something that builds up over the course of a career and pops out at one point. It got worse during the training process - when it started to hurt, then I couldn't get rid of the inflammation either."
Porzingis revealed that the plan is to be ready by the start of the NBA season. “I now have a four to six week plan that I have to follow. Feelings are good. Of course, I am not yet in such a shape that I can play and train fully. But going step by step, everything should be fine by the start of the season," said the Boston Celtics player.
“Boston wanted me to continue my recovery there, but I told them it was very important for me to be with the national team even though I wasn't playing. They supported my decision. Also there, most likely, I will have a long season ahead of me - it is important now to spend time with my teammates in the national team, family at home. Boston respected all of that and supported me.”
Now granted, I did not expect Porzingis to come out and say "yeah, my foot is fucked" or anything like that. Let's not be silly. But that doesn't mean there weren't some interesting quotes there. While I'm not a doctor, I do think it's going to be interesting to see how Porzingis' foot responds to training after all this rest. What if it didn't take and the plantar fasciitis is still an issue? Is the plan to just continue to shut him down or maybe play through it?
You also get the sense that the decision to shut Porzingis down wasn't so much his or Latvia's idea, but Brad's and the Celts. I imagine it was more the second they caught wind of even the smallest issue, they put an end to all of it. That quote about how the team wanted him to recover in Boston is what leads me to believe that. Maybe the compromise was he sit out, but they let him stay with the team in a supportive role and give him a rehab treatment plan to do while he's over there. I mean, there's no rule that says Porzingis had to shut it down, so if Brad had pushed back about not coming back to Boston, maybe Porzingis says screw it and plays anyway.
Of course, the biggest takeaway is that final bolded line.
"Everything should be fine by the start of the season"
The start of the 2023-24 Celtics season is 63 days from today.
If I had to guess, we're not going to see Porzingis all that much in the preseason. Do I believe him when he says that he's going to be all good for the season? I mean, what choice do I have? What choice do any of us have? If he says everything's fine and he'll be ready, then all we can do is pray he's not giving us the classic "KG's knee will be fine in a week" routine.
Between this and Shams' report from last night that the Celts are also taking a look at TJ Warren
it's getting a little crazy how much of their title hopes are now dependent on the health of players who haven't exactly been ironmen. If it works out, their ceiling is insane. If it doesn't, their floor is much lower than the 2022-23 team we just watched. Last year's roster had the depth at basically every position to overcome guys like Rob and Smart missing time. That's not really the case as of today with this year's roster, which makes this entire experiment such a gamble.
It all starts with Porzingis. If he tells me not to worry and he'll be ready, well then…