The New York Knicks say All-Star Kristaps Porzingis has torn the ACL in his left knee.
Porzingis was hurt in the second quarter of New York’s loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday night. He dunked with 8:46 left in the half and landed awkwardly, crashing to the court and holding his left knee. He was eventually helped up and taken to the locker room.
Porzingis, 22, is averaging 22.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and a league-leading 2.4 blocks per game. He was voted to his first-ever All-Star game as a reserve.
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The Knicks entered Tuesday night’s contest with a 23-31 record and sat four games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Should Porzingis miss an extended period of time, New York’s hopes of a playoff push would take a serious hit.
A number of All-Stars have suffered significant injuries since being named to the All-Star team. DeMarcus Cousins will miss the rest of the season after he tore his Achilles, John Wall had knee surgery that will keep him out for six weeks and Kevin Love will miss time with a broken bone is his hand.
Earlier this season, Porzingis appeared to suffer a severe injury when he turned his right ankle in a game against the Heat. He also punched the floor and needed help to get to the locker room that night. Porzingis only missed two games.
But Porzingis has had issues with the left knee this season. He left a game in December against the Nets because of pain in the knee, and missed the next two contests. Two weeks ago, Porzingis sat out against the Warriors because of “left-knee irritation.”
The announcement was something of a surprise following the measured reactions from Knicks coaches and players after the game. Coach Jeff Hornacek had said “hopefully he’s O.K.,” and Enes Kanter left the arena hoping for the best for his friend and teammate.
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