Kristaps Porzingis underwent surgery to address a lateral meniscus injury in his right knee, the Mavericks announced on Friday.
It has been 7½ weeks since Porzingis suffered the injury in Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Porzingis played only 19 minutes in that opening game, but tried to play through the injury and actually had 23 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes in their Game 2 victory. And in Game 3, he had 34 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes.
But before Game 4, when Porzingis felt the knee worsening, the decision was made to sit him. He missed the final three games of the series that the Clippers won 4-2.
There is no timeline for Porzingis’ return to basketball activities, but since it’s unknown when the 2020-21 season will begin, it’s not a pressing issue.
The 7-3 center/forward averaged 20.4 points and a career best 9.5 rebounds in 57 games (out of 75). Porzingis, 25, was coming off an anterior cruciate ligament injury that had sidelined him for all of the 2018-19 season.
It was clear by the time the coronavirus shut down the NBA on March 11 that Porzingis had fully recovered from the ACL surgery.
From Jan. 31 to the shutdown, Porzingis averaged 26.7 points and 10.5 rebounds while shooting 36.8 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. He also averaged 2.1 blocks during that span.
The Mavericks now have had three key players undergo surgery for injuries that ended their season. Dwight Powell (Achilles) underwent surgery in late January and reports that his rehab has gone well.
Guard Jalen Brunson (labrum) had surgery on March 14 for a shoulder injury he suffered on Feb. 22 in Atlanta.
All three players were starters at times during the season.