Kristaps Porzingis struggles with a “serious” leg injury on a daily basis

Kristaps Porzingis played over 20 minutes in Sunday’s Game 2, which Dallas won. (Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Celtics big man Kristaps Porzingis put aside many concerns about his health after he began tweaking something in his leg on Sunday night during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

But on Tuesday, those optimistic forecasts gave way to much more grim news.

In a team press release, the Celtics announced that Porzingis suffered a leg injury in Game 2 that is unrelated to the calf injury that forced him to miss 10 games earlier in the postseason.

“Celtics Center Kristaps Porzingis suffered a tear in his medial retinaculum, which resulted in a dislocated tibialis posterior tendon in his left leg at 3:27 of the third quarter in Game 2,” the Celtics said in a statement. “The injury is unrelated to Porzingis’ prior injury to his right calf. “Following consultation with multiple specialists regarding this rare injury, his availability for upcoming matches will be determined on a daily basis.”

Speaking in Dallas on Tuesday, Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla admitted the Celtics are unsure whether Porzingis will be cleared for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

“He’s doing everything he can to be ready for tomorrow’s match,” Mazzulla said. “It’s a serious injury and ultimately our medical team won’t put him in any bad situation. We made the decision to let it go because of its importance. He will do everything he can to play and we will leave it to our medical team.

Mazzulli’s comments stand in stark contrast to his comments after the second game, in which he noted that he had no concerns about Porzingis’ future.

“I feel good,” Porzingis said after the second game. “Obviously something happened. But again I have a few days. Believe me, we will do everything we can to get back and moving well. … I will die there if necessary.

In Tuesday’s speech, Porzingis once again expressed hope that he will be ready for Game 3 on Wednesday night in Dallas.

“It will be a day at a time and I will see how I am tomorrow,” Porzingis told the media. “And of course I will do everything in my power to be there tomorrow and we will see. …I am optimistic. As I said, I will do everything in my power to be on the pitch tomorrow.

Porzingis came off the bench in the first two games of the 2024 NBA Finals, scoring 12 points and adding four rebounds in 23 minutes in Game 2.

Although his minutes have been limited since returning to the court, Porzingis’ energy and ability to impact the game on both sides of the ball has given Boston a significant improvement in this series. In two games against Dallas, he is averaging 16 points per game and shooting 60% from the field.