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Kristaps Porzingis could play Saturday for Knicks

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis gets off

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis gets off a shot against Paschoalotto/Bauru in the second quarter of an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 7, 2015. Credit: Ray Stubblebine

GREENBURGH, N.Y. - Kristaps Porzingis was a spectator again during Thursday's practice, but the Knicks' prized rookie believes he's ready to return.

Porzingis missed Monday's preseason game and the next two practices with a strained quadriceps. He said if the Knicks' training staff allows, he will play in one of the two weekend games, more than likely Saturday night.

"I think I'm 100 percent right now," Porzingis said. "This was the last day that I didn't practice the whole practice. Tomorrow I think I'll be going for full practice and I can't wait to get back on the court.

"Hopefully, I'll play on Saturday. They're going slowly with me. They don't want to force it too much. But I'm healthy. I'm 100 percent, so I can't wait to get back on the floor."

The Knicks play the Celtics on Friday night, and Porzingis could go through the shootaround and do some additional contact drills and pregame work to prepare him for Saturday night's game in Charlotte. He said he had treatment and shot around a little, coming off screens and working on his spot-up shooting.

"I felt perfect, no pain," Porzingis said. "So I'm good to go."

The Knicks are being cautious because it's a long season. Derek Fisher also wants to get guys in preseason games because there are two fewer this season.

"We'll have shorter opportunities than we typically would have," Fisher said. "Even if Kris doesn't play [Friday], I think [Friday] can still be a day where enough work is done so that he can be prepared to play on Saturday.

"We'll talk about that [Thursday afternoon and Friday]. But for sure we want to get as many guys as possible some game minutes so that when the regular season starts in a couple of weeks we're ready to go."

Two guys the Knicks are expected to have back as early as Friday, are Arron Afflalo and Kevin Seraphin.

Afflalo, the first player the Knicks signed in free agency, has missed the first three preseason games with a strained left hamstring. Seraphin has missed the last two with a sore right knee. Both of them practiced fully on Thursday.


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