GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Kristaps Porzingis has watched the video of how he sprained his ankle, and he said it looks much worse than it was.
Still, he did not practice with the Knicks on Friday and his status for Sunday’s game against Orlando remains unclear. He said he does not want to rush his return.
“I will come back when I’m 100 percent,” Porzingis said after practice. “It’s not a thing that I should force now and maybe backfire. I’ll take my time, but if I feel 100 percent, I might be back Sunday.”
Porzingis sprained his right ankle a little more than two minutes into the Knicks’ lopsided win over Miami on Wednesday. He said on Friday that when it happened, he was pretty worried.
“I felt the ankle went completely 90 degrees,” Porzingis said. “It felt pretty bad, but it wasn’t that painful, not crazy. I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe it’s [that] you’re in shock and you don’t really feel the pain. I didn’t know what it was. Then I walked a little bit. I realized it was nothing that was wrong with it. So I was actually warming up the whole time. I wanted to go back in the game. The doctor recommended I stay out. Now I’m just going day-to-day to see how I feel.”
Porzingis said there still is some swelling in the ankle when he’s on his feet, but it’s “not getting worse. It’s only getting better.”
Point guard Frank Ntilikina, who missed Wednesday’s game with a sprained left ankle, is a more likely bet to be back by Sunday. He was limited in practice Friday, but coach Jeff Hornacek was encouraged by what he saw.
“He was able to go through pretty much all of it,” he said. “He did all our live contact stuff, so he’s pretty good. You always want to see what happens the next day and see if he can practice on it. From what I saw today, he might be able to go.”
Though the Knicks would love to be at full strength on Sunday, they can take some encouragement from the fact that they beat Miami by 29 points — their largest margin of victory this season — despite missing their best player nearly the entire game.
Said Hornacek: “Guys have to step up. When someone is out, we got to try to still win those games and not use it as an excuse. I thought the other night, guys really stepped up for KP.”
Notes & quotes: Porzingis said he enjoyed being a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday night. “It was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was all over the Internet this morning when I woke up. In Latvia, people are following. I think I’m the first, for sure . . . I’m the first person from Latvia on that show. It’s a big thing back home.”