Fizdale backtracks on Porzingis’ rehab schedule comments
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — One day after making pessimistic comments about Kristaps Porzingis’ rehab schedule, David Fizdale walked them back on Friday. You might even say the Knicks coach sprinted them back.
On Thursday, Fizdale had said Porzingis was doing some “light running,” but added: “Sprinting — he’s not at that level yet.”
Later Thursday, Porzingis posted two photos on Instagram that showed him sprinting on a track, along with another photo of a UFC fighter that was captioned with a profane phrase that indicated someone wasn’t telling the truth.
On Friday, Fizdale said he spoke to Porzingis to clear things up.
“I didn’t realize he had went out to the track,” a chuckling Fizdale said. “But I was happy as hell to see that stride, I know that. I might go out with him next time and do some power walking because, man, that got me out of the bed when I saw that.”
Fizdale explained that on Thursday he was commenting on what he knew of Porzingis’ progress from a torn ACL based on what he sees in the gym. He said others in the organization were aware of Porzingis’ sprinting, but added that he’s “oblivious” because he’s focused on what’s happening with the players on the active roster.
“Our guys knew, but they’re not doing the press conferences,” Fizdale said. “In here, he hadn’t done any of that stuff. I’m locked into the gym. I didn’t realize he had taken that next step to go to the track, getting his stride in order and getting that leg feeling good about running his normal stride. But like I said, I’m excited to see that. That was a real boost to all of us in the gym.”
Porzingis, who underwent surgery on Feb. 13, is trying to come back this season, but the Knicks are not counting on it. That could lead to what Fizdale said is Porzingis’ frustration over the pace of his rehab. Porzingis hasn’t spoken to the media since training camp in September.