New York Knicks All-Star Kristaps Porzingis says he's taken a conservative approach in his rehabilitation from ACL surgery, in part because no player Porzingis' height has dealt with the same injury.
"We've done things differently because there is no protocol for a 7-3 guy. There is no timetable for my type of body, my size and all that," Porzingis said at the Knicks' media day on Monday. "We've done things differently, very conservative and at the same time (I've been) killing myself working. We're just going to have to keep moving forward, keep progressing and see when is the right time for me to be back."
Porzingis is expected to be out until at least December. He said Monday there is no specific timetable yet for his return.
"Obviously I'm getting itchy and I want to get back on the court as soon as possible, but it won't happen until I am 110 percent and medically cleared," he said.
Porzingis has spent the past several months rehabbing in Spain at the facilities of Real Madrid, the famous soccer club, and in his home country of Latvia.
He says he has done light jogging and shooting on the court and the rehab of his knee -- led by physiotherapist Manolo Valdivieso -- has gone well thus far.
"(My) leg's getting stronger. (I'm) feeling really, really good," said Porzingis, who suffered a torn left ACL in February.
Porzingis declined to speculate about the possibility of missing the entire season when asked about it on Monday.
"It's really hard to say. There's no timetable as I said. I am going to be back when I am healthy and medically cleared," he said.
Porzingis is eligible for a five-year, $157 million contract extension before the start of the season. But it appears that the Knicks are comfortable waiting to sign Porzingis to the extension next summer. Doing so would provide an extra $10 million in cap space. Porzingis said he's focused solely on the health of his knee -- and not on the potential extension -- at this point.
"That is something I have no thought about, something my management is dealing with and we're going to talk about that whenever is the right time," said Porzingis, who averaged a team-high 22.6 points and an NBA-high 2.4 blocks per game before he injured his knee in early February.
Porzingis added that he appreciated new coach David Fizdale and his wife, Natasha Sen-Fizdale, visiting him in Latvia over the summer.
Fizdale has said that he wants to challenge Porzingis to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year, goals that Porzingis himself has openly discussed.
"I believe he's the type of person that wants to get the maximum out of each player around him," Porzingis said. "So I think me and him can work really well with him being able to ask those (individual goals) of me and me keep pushing and try to achieve those things, which are also my goals. So I think we're on the same page there."