Boston Celtics

Latest update on Porzingis' injury recovery entering NBA Finals

"He looks really good."

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The Boston Celtics have gone 9-1 this postseason since Kristaps Porzingis went down with a calf injury in Game 4 of the first round. But make no mistake: They'll need their talented big man for the NBA Finals.

So, what are the odds that Porzingis, who hasn't played since April 29, will be ready to go on June 6 for Game 1 of the NBA Finals against either the Dallas Mavericks or Minnesota Timberwolves?

"There's definitely hope. There’s definitely optimism," The Athletic's Shams Charania said Tuesday on FanDuel TV's Run It Back show of Porzingis' potential return. "There are still some hurdles, I’m told, that he has to clear before he can play in Game 1 of the Finals, but there's of course hope that this next week-plus will give him the time that needs to ramp up and get ready for that Game 1 next Thursday."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that there was a possibility Porzingis could return as soon as Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The 7-foot-2 big man remained sidelined for the entire series, however, as Boston won Games 3 and 4 against the Pacers in Indiana to complete a series sweep and give themselves nine full days off before next Thursday's Game 1.

While Charania suggested Porzingis still has "hurdles" to clear before he's officially game-ready, Celtics guard Payton Pritchard shared an encouraging update on his teammate prior to Game 4 that bodes well for Porzingis being on the court for Game 1.

"He looks really good. I think he'll be ready shortly," Pritchard told NBC Sports Boston's Abby Chin before Monday's Game 4.

UPDATE (Wednesday, May 29): Porzingis shared a message in his native Latvian on X (formerly known as Twitter) suggesting he'll be ready for the Finals.

Here's a rough translation of his post from Latvian to English:

"Thank you to everyone who supports and sympathizes throughout the season. I'll be back in line soon. See you in the finals."

Al Horford has stepped up on multiple occasions in Porzingis' absence, most notably hitting seven 3-pointers in Game 3 as part of a historic performance. But if Dallas advances -- the Mavs currently own a 3-0 series lead -- Porzingis' presence would be critical to combat the dynamic young frontcourt duo of Daniel Gafford and Dereck Lively.

If all goes well with Porzingis' rehab, it sounds like Boston's third-leading regular-season scorer is on track to be ready for Game 1 and make a potentially significant impact in the championship series.

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