The All-Star had successful surgery on his injured left knee Tuesday, marking the beginning of his rehabilitation process.
The 2017-18 Knicks season was dealt a crushing blow just a week ago when Kristaps Porzingis tore the ACL in his left knee. There has been a palpable loss of hope among fans and the organization alike, both overcome with a feeling of despair. Today, the road to recovery began.
Kristaps Porzingis had surgery to repair the torn ACL today at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek and Dr. Answorth Allen, attending orthopedic surgeons at the hospital. Dr. Altchek is the Medical Director for the New York Mets, and has worked with baseball, tennis, and basketball players alike throughout his career. Dr. Allen is a team physician for the Knicks, previously working with the Mets and universities such as St. John’s and Pittsburgh.
For Porzingis, this is the official dawn of his rehab. Should KP follow the typical rehabilitation process that is recommended for ACL injuries, he will be unable to put weight on his knee for two weeks, and will refrain from doing any serious activity with the knee until at least six weeks out from surgery. Jeff Hornacek and the Knicks have shown an encouraging level of admiration for Porzingis, touting his work ethic and his desire to come back stronger:
Jeff Hornacek talks about Kristaps Porzingis’ approach to rehab ahead of his ACL surgery today. “He’s a kid who wants to be one of the best so he’s going to work hard to get back.” pic.twitter.com/Eos0zdvVsS
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 13, 2018
How about KP’s return? The timetable is unclear, as Ian Begley of ESPN notes. Until Porzingis begins rehab and the team can get a feel of his progress, there will not be a clear return date. He will likely be out at least 10 months, which would put Christmas as the earliest possible return date.
The Knicks should not push Porzingis to come back too soon, since they will presumably be a bad team next year once again. Perhaps they could follow the model that the Indiana Pacers did with Paul George in 2014-15, when he returned to play the final six contests of the year just to see some true game action. These are all points that will bear themselves out once Porzingis begins his rehab.
Until then, best of luck to KP. There aren’t many young guys out there who have worked harder than he has to get where he is, so there’s no reason to doubt he will attack this rehab with anything less than the intense vigor and passion that he plays basketball with.