Kristaps Porzingis Says Game 1 Finals Return is 'the Plan'

Kristaps Porzingis (calf) isn't 100% but plans to return to the Celtics for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Fourf
Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Fourf / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

Boston Celtics starting center Kristaps Porzinigs is back and gearing up for his first appearance in the NBA Finals.

Addressing the media for the first time since early May, the nine-year veteran spoke about his recovery from a calf injury that's left him sidelined since April 29 during the Celtics' first-round series against the Miami Heat. Five weeks removed from walking out of the Kaseya Center in a walking boot, is Kristaps now 100%?

"Good question," Porzingis replied. "I don't know. We'll see. I have a couple more days, and I've done a lot of work up until this point. I've done everything needed to get back into playing shape."

Kristaps Porzingis

Porzingis' recovery process has evolved into a target date: Thursday's Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

"That's the plan right now," Porzingis said when asked if he'll be in uniform for Game 1 this week. "A couple more days, and I think that can make a difference. Every day gives me a bit more time to get even better, you know?"

Kristaps Porzingis on Game 1

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the nine-year veteran has joined team scrimmages over the past few days while Kristaps feels better daily.

"I'm feeling better each day. It's been a long process, I'm not going to lie," Porzingis added. "It's been tough to sit out obviously. But, I've tried to stay as engaged as I can be with the team, and be around the team, and do my work, and be with the team. But it sucks. It really, really does suck, but we're here now, and I'm feeling much better."

Kristaps Porzingis

As the team's third-leading scorer behind All-Stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Porzingis averaged 20.1 points at a 51.6% clip, including 37.5% from deep while swatting a team's best 1.9 blocks per game throughout the regular season.

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