Kristaps Porzingis' body may be sending signals that he still has to get used to the rigors of the NBA. The Knicks hope it's not a harbinger of what's to come.
For the third time since Porzingis began his predraft workouts in June, he was injured during a non-contact play, and all three times on the left side of his body.
The 7-3 Porzingis was running in practice Sunday and felt "a pinch" on his left quad. An MRI showed a mild strain in the quad, the Knicks' prized rookie said. Porzingis didn't play Monday night when the Knicks improved to 3-0 in the preseason with a 94-88 win over the 76ers.
Porzingis also suffered an injury to his left quad and back before the draft that prevented him from working out for the Knicks and slowed him after they picked him fourth. Porzingis said this issue is "similar" and "not as bad." The fact that it's happened again has the Knicks' attention, though.
"The feedback is this is the second time with this particular injury," Derek Fisher said. "So of course, let's sit down and figure out what we're going to need to adjust in his program to make sure we can at least try as hard as possible to mitigate that."
The NBA schedule is much different from that in Europe. Porzingis said he didn't miss any games last season in Spain, where his games were once or twice a week. This was the Knicks' third game in six days.
Porzingis doesn't think his size or frame is leading to these injuries. He says it's "not that serious" and he should be able to play Friday against Boston. But he wonders if he needs to scale back his training.
"I don't really think it's because I'm tired. It just happened," he said. "Stuff happens. It's nothing serious. Maybe my body was telling me to take it a little easier. That's why small things like that happen. It's nothing serious."
"Hopefully I can be fine for the season and play all the games during the season."
On the second day of training camp, Porzingis felt "a little pinch" in his left knee when he was running, and missed the next few practices. Fisher didn't rule out that there could be a common thread that all of the injuries are to his left side and leg.
"It's possible," Fisher said. "There's definitely something that we need to try and figure out how we can make sure to try and help him limit the injuries and the setback. We'll figure it out. We're not concerned as much as we were the last time he had the injury with the quad."
Notes & quotes: Derrick Williams shot 8-for-12 and led the Knicks with 21 points. Carmelo Anthony added 18 . . . Arron Afflalo (strained left hamstring) and Kevin Seraphin (sore right knee) didn't play . . . No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor (sore right knee) didn't play for Philadelphia.