Fiz­dale back­tracks on Porzingis’ re­hab sched­ule com­ments

Connecticut Post - - SPORTS -

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.

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