No definitive timetable has been set for Porzingis to play in games, but coach Rick Carlisle said he anticipates that will happen at some point in January.
“Sometime in the next couple of weeks isn’t far-fetched. It isn’t certain, either,” Carlisle said. “I think we just have to go day to day with it and hope that things can keep moving in a positive direction.”
The 7-foot-3 Porzingis, who missed a season and a half while recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee in February 2018, suffered the most recent injury in the opener of the Mavs’ playoff series against the LA Clippers in August. He played the next two games — including a 34-point, 13-rebound performance in Game 3 — before the pain and stiffness in the knee forced Porzingis to sit out the remainder of the series.
Porzingis said the knee “felt good” on Tuesday, when he worked with both the starters and second unit during full-contact 5-on-5 segments of practice. He also played 1-on-1 after practice.
“I just need a little bit of time now to get back in a rhythm and feel good on the court, and that’s it,” said Porzingis, who joined the Mavs on their season-opening road trip as he ramped up basketball activity. “I don’t want to have that adaptation time while I’m already playing. I want to try to do as much as I can right now before I start playing, and once I start playing, I want to play at a high level right away.”
Porzingis, 25, averaged 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks during his first season with the Mavericks in 2019-20.