Celtics get a potential return date for Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t played since April 29. He suffered a right soleus strain while facing the Miami Heat. He has been sidelined for seven games thus far, and isn’t expected to participate in Game 2 of the Boston Celtics Eastern Conference finals series against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday (May 23).

However, the Celtics may have their star big man back before the end of their current series. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Porzingis could return ‘as soon as Game 4’ of the current series against Indiana. Adding the 7-foot-2 big back into the rotation would be a major boost for the Celtics.

“There’s growing optimism that Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis could make his return to the Eastern Conference playoffs against the Indiana Pacers as soon as Game 4 on Monday,,” Wojnarowski reported. “The Celtics won’t rush Porzingis back, and they want to continue to be conservative in his recovery, but sources say he is inching closer to a return.”

Porzingis played 57 games for the Celtics during the regular season. He averaged 20.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2 assists per game, shooting 51.6% from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range. His size and lateral quickness also helped Boston cement itself as one of the best defensive teams in basketball, ranking second in defensive rating for the season.

Once he is cleared to play, it will be interesting to see whether the Celtics keep Porzingis on a minutes restriction in a bid to keep him fresh for the NBA Finals, assuming the Celtics progress beyond the Pacers.

Nevertheless, having Porzingis back in the rotation will significantly boost Boston’s chances of winning their first championship since 2008. He makes the team better on both ends of the floor, and that could be the difference maker.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire