Though the New Yorks Knicks are struggling and likely headed for the lottery again next summer, this isn’t going to be a “lost” season for the franchise as in years past. They have a savvy new head coach in David Fizdale, and they’re working to develop the young talent they’ve assembled. It hasn’t translated to many wins, but it’s a fun group to watch in New York, and it should inspire hope for the future.
One major blight is that they’re still without Kristaps Porzingis, who suffered a torn ACL last February and currently has no timetable for a return. That sort of injury can often take a while to fully heal, and the organization is in no rush to bring him back before he’s ready.
But the disconnect between how a players feels in terms of their own personal rehab and the team’s understandable caution to protect its main asset can sometimes cause friction. And because this is 2018, of course that friction is playing itself out on social media.
When asked about his star center Thursday night, Fizdale said that Porzingis has been doing some “light running,” but Porzingis seemed to directly contradict that when he posted a pair of photos of himself sprinting to this Instagram account.
Now, this could have easily spun out of control and turned into a feud between coach and player, but Fizdale, being the professional that he is, quickly nipped it in the bud.
Still, that doesn’t mean Porzingis is any closer to returning than before. Part of Fizdale’s job is managing those sorts of expectations. Admitting that Porzingis has, indeed, been sprinting rather than jogging lightly in no way indicates that he’s going to return to action any sooner, and it has the added benefit of undercutting what could’ve been perceived as a fraying relationship between star player and coach.
We all want to see Porzingis back in action as soon as possible, and the fact that he’s apparently sprinting is a good sign, but Fizdale and the Knicks are right not to put a target date on his return and just allow him to heal and get to back to 100 percent, however long that might take.