WASHINGTON -- Kristaps Porzingis is expected to miss his 13th consecutive game as the Wizards host the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night and his seventh straight game since joining Washington in a trade deadline deal.
Porzingis is still being described as day-to-day by the Wizards, though that has now been the case for several weeks.
After Tuesday's game, the Wizards will only have 21 games remaining on their schedule. Given where they are in the standings, on the outside of the NBA's play-in tournament picture looking in, and with star guard Bradley Beal out for the year, the Wizards have reason to treat his injury with extra caution.
Those factors led to head coach Wes Unseld Jr. being asked on Monday whether the team will consider shutting Porzingis down for the rest of this season. He said that is not in the cards, at least as of now.
"No, we’re not there. If that’s the case, I don’t think the injury would warrant that. I don’t want to speak for the medical staff," Unseld Jr. said.
If Porzingis is going to play soon, it remains unclear when that will be. He was considered day-to-day before the All-Star break and Unseld Jr. expressed optimism he would be available in their first game back, on Feb. 25. Porzingis, however, missed that game vs. San Antonio and their loss to Cleveland the next night.
On Monday, Unseld Jr. effectively ruled him out for Tuesday's game against Detroit, which was expected given the timeline for recovery the Wizards' coach has recently described. Porzingis is still limited to 1-on-1 drills against assistant coaches and needs to work his way up to 3-on-3 work and then 5-on-5 before he is cleared.
"We meet twice a day on it to see where he is prior to workouts or practice and then re-evaluate him afterwards. So, it’s ever-evolving. You hope that at some point you don’t see the effects they are concerned with and we can kind of expedite the return. But until that point, we’re going to treat it day-to-day and hope that he responds well," Unseld Jr. said.
Porzingis, 26, last played on Jan. 29 when he was with the Dallas Mavericks. The injury was originally diagnosed as a sore knee. He has undergone an MRI and other testing which have ruled out structural damage. Despite that, the injury has led to a long-term absence and one that does not appear to have a definitive end in sight.