GREENBURGH, N.Y. — As the Knicks were scrimmaging Thursday, Kristaps Porzingis watched from the side with his practice jersey off. Then he walked to the locker room favoring his right knee.
Porzingis left the court to get treatment on what the Knicks called a sore right knee. Porzingis didn’t speak to reporters. But coach Jeff Hornacek said he doesn’t think it’s serious and he believes Porzingis will be able to practice Friday.
“I think his knee just got a little sore there,” Hornacek said. “So we wanted to stop him from running at that point.”
Hornacek said he doesn’t think it’s wear and tear from Porzingis playing for Latvia in the European championships. Porzingis missed some time with a bruised knee, but Hornacek wasn’t aware if it was the same knee.
Hornacek made it sound as if the Knicks will try to take it easy with Porzingis — the team’s new franchise player after Carmelo Anthony was traded to Oklahoma City earlier this week — because of how much he played over the summer.
“Yeah, we’ve got to keep an eye on it,” Hornacek said. “We obviously are establishing some nice things here in training camp, so want to keep that momentum. He’s a big part of being out there with these guys doing that.”
Porzingis’ durability has come into question ever since the Knicks drafted him in 2015.
The 7-3 forward missed 26 games with various injuries over his first two seasons and ended both years as a spectator. He missed the Knicks’ last seven games of his rookie season and the final five last year.
Porzingis worked hard during the offseason to get stronger in hopes of being able to play a full season. Hornacek said he isn’t concerned about Porzingis’ durability.
“It’s on us to figure out if the guys are getting worn out,” Hornacek said. “Sometimes if they’re too tired that’s when they might get injured. Some of that’s with age. Some of that’s with his size.
“But he’s worked hard this summer to get bigger and stronger and to be able to battle through that, and he wants to try and do that. I don’t anticipate [it being an issue]. Keep our fingers crossed that he plays as many as possible.”