Porzingis sheds light on origin of foot injury, World Cup plans

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Porzingis sheds light on origin of foot injury, World Cup plans originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

If there’s one word Boston Celtics fans don’t want to hear regarding Kristaps Porzingis, it’s “injury.”

The 7-foot-3 big man is coming off a career season with the Washington Wizards and could be the “third star” who helps Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown lead the Celtics to a championship in 2023-34. Porzingis also has a lengthy injury history, however, and C’s fans understandably weren’t thrilled to hear the 28-year-old will miss the 2023 FIBA World Cup due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Porzingis played 65 games for the Wizards last season and didn’t seem to be bothered by any foot ailment. So, when did this latest injury crop up? The Latvia native said he started to feel pain in his right foot while training for the World Cup this summer.

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“I have an idea where the injury occurred. But an injury develops during a career and then jumps onto the field,” Porzingis said in Latvian during an interview with Sporta Studija, as translated to English by Eurohoops.net. “During the training process, it started to hurt. There has never been anything like it. I felt that there were no options to achieve the shape I wanted. There was no logic in trying to break my feet.”

Porzingis shared videos on Instagram earlier this month of himself going through on-court basketball drills, so his injury doesn’t appear that serious. The Celtics put a four-to-six week timeline on his recovery — which would have him back before the start of training camp in early October — but it’s likely he and the team are erring on the side of caution to make sure he’s healthy for the regular season.

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Still, Porzingis said he plans to travel to The Philippines to support his Latvian teammates at the World Cup, which begins Friday and runs through Sept. 10.

“I said being around is important, even though I’m not playing,” Porzingis said. “They supported my decision. Also, there’s a long season ahead. It’s important for me to spend time with my teammates, with my family, and Boston respected my decision.”

Porzingis’ recovery may have been expedited slightly if he stayed back in the United States, but it sounds like he and the Celtics came to a mutual agreement, and that the expectation is he’ll be healthy and ready to go in late September when the team returns from summer break.

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