When Kristaps Porzingis felt a twinge in his left knee on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and walked off the court into the Knicks’ locker room, the team was sent into a familiar spasm of worry.
The health of Porzingis, their 7-foot-3 franchise player, was again up in the air, leaving fans anxious for information. That he was upright and walking around later that evening seemed to be cause for relief. And on Friday, the Knicks would say only that Porzingis’s sore knee left him questionable to play on Saturday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder. That, in itself, did not sound particularly ominous, although the Knicks did not disclose whether Porzingis underwent any medical exam on Friday.
Porzingis said after Thursday’s game — in which the Knicks beat the Nets — that he did not think his injury was serious. Still, in his two-plus seasons in New York, he has given the Knicks plenty of reasons to worry. Just last month, he sprained his ankle, with replays showing it turning nearly perpendicular on the court. It was a ghastly sight, but in the end Porzingis missed only two games.
When he has been on the court this season, the 22-year-old Porzingis has generally had a major impact. The Knicks are 15-13 so far — by comparison, they were 31-51 in 2016-17 — and Porzingis has been averaging 25.5 points a game and is third in the N.B.A. in blocks.
But there is a continuing concern about injuries. He has missed games periodically since joining the Knicks, sometimes with back and Achilles problems.