Porzingis sidelined Monday against Grizzlies with back stiffness

Dallas Mavericks’ forward/center Kristaps Porzingis sat out Monday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies with back stiffness, and there is no timetable for his return.

Coach Rick Carlisle said: “It’s something that he’s dealt with on and off.”

Porzingis encountered right knee soreness during the playoffs in the bubble in Orlando last summer and eventually underwent surgery on Oct. 9 to address a lateral meniscus injury. That delayed the start of his 2020-21 season until Jan. 13 when he played 21 minutes and scored 16 points during a 104-93 win over Charlotte.

Asked about the challenges of Porzingis getting his strength back in the middle of the season, Carlisle said: “You do it through your strength work. We do a lot of functional work with our guys – functional strength training.

“A lot of it’s balanced based, and all that stuff translates to how you move on the floor. It’s conditioning, it’s mindset. This week has offered the opportunity for him to dive into that and to work on it.”

Porzingis is averaging 20.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, and has scored 20 or more points in eight games this season, including a season-high 36 points during a 143-130 triumph over New Orleans on Feb. 12. But missing out on training camp put him sort of behind the eight ball.

“His late start created an obstacle,” Carlisle said. “I do feel like he’s getting better and he’s going to continue…

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