GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kristaps Porzingis sat out most of the Knicks’ practice Saturday and said he probably won’t play against Toronto on Sunday because of lingering pain in his left Achilles.
Porzingis will miss his second straight game and fifth overall because of the injury, which seems as if it might continue to hamper the second-year forward if he doesn’t take some time off.
“I need to get it 100 percent before I step back on the court again,” he said Saturday. “I need to take my time, calm down a little bit. I’m just too anxious to be out there. Today, too, I was like, ‘Let me go, you got to let me go, you got to let me go.’
“We have a tough schedule ahead of us. I want to be back as soon as possible. But at the same time, I want to make sure I’m healthy and that I can be 100 percent for the team.”
Porzingis isn’t committing to sitting out long-term. The Knicks wanted him to have an MRI, but he said he didn’t think he needed one.
He hopes to play Monday against Atlanta if some of the soreness lightens up and he warms up properly, like someone who’s been in the league for a while and not a 21-year-old.
“It’s the same thing,” he said. “I guess it didn’t recover 100 percent or maybe I did some movement while I was still cold and kind of hurt it again a little bit.
“I’ve got to be smart, too, when I warm it up before the game or morning shootaround. I love to go crazy and dunk and kind of get my legs ready for the night. I got to be a little smarter, take it easy, knowing what I have and just warm up as if I was 35 years old.”
Porzingis said it wasn’t just the Achilles that was bothering him when he short-armed a three-pointer in the waning seconds that would have iced Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia. His legs also were hurting him. The Knicks ended up losing the game at the buzzer on point guard T.J. McConnell’s turnaround baseline jumper.
“I felt it a little bit throughout the game,” Porzingis said. “But my legs were just banged up in general. I didn’t feel great. That’s how you’re going to feel some of the games . . . I tried to push through it.”
The Knicks, losers of nine of their last 11 games, are trying to make up some ground. Their schedule is rough, though, which could lead to Porzingis missing additional time.
Starting with Toronto, the Knicks play four games in five days — all against teams that the Knicks are looking up at in the standings — and seven games in an 11-day stretch.
“We’ve got a lot of games,” Jeff Hornacek said. “These games in January are coming at you, so it’s bad timing, but it is what it is. We were able to win the other night without him, so we’ve got to try to do it again.”
Porzingis said no one has come to him and said he needs to miss a certain amount of days. The training staff is basing its decisions on how he says he’s feeling.
“The first time, I was trying to come back as soon as possible,” Porzingis said. “Once I was back, I was going crazy. This time I think if I’m ready for the Atlanta game, then I’ll make sure I’m smart about how I come back — not from zero to 100. Make sure I warm up properly every time. But it’s hard; 21 years old, you’re thinking you can go out there, sprint up and down, and you have never done warm-ups.
“I heal pretty quickly in general. I’ve got to be smart about it, yeah. If we’re looking at the big picture, if we want to make the playoffs, I want to play in the playoffs. I don’t want to be on the sidelines because of this. But obviously, I don’t feel like it’s anything that serious that would keep me for a longer time.”