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Celtics expect Kristaps Porzingis to be cleared for start of training camp

BOSTON -- It turns out that Kristaps Porzingis will indeed miss the FIBA Basketball World Cup with a foot injury. While the new Boston big man won't be playing for Latvia in August, the Celtics don't sound concerned that it will keep him from playing come October.

Porzingis revealed Tuesday that he is dealing with plantar fasciitis. After several weeks of recovery and MRIs on his foot, a joint decision was made between himself, the Latvian national team, and the Celtics for the big man to sit out the upcoming tournament. 

Given Porzingis and the injury history he's carried throughout his eight-year career in the NBA, any injury is a bit worrisome. Considering the Celtics are relying on Porzingis to be the third wheel behind Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, there is a lot riding on his health in the 2023-24 season.

For now, though, the Celtics are downplaying any concern that the ailment will keep Porzingis out of the Boston lineup when the regular season arrive.

"Though the 7-foot-3 sharpshooter indicated he's not fully ready for competition at this point and determined it was necessary to continue the recovery process, a Celtics source reached later Tuesday downplayed any concern over the issue," The Athletic's Jay King reported Wednesday. "The source was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly."

The team released an official statement on Porzingis' injury Wednesday morning, and said he "will engage in a four-to-six-week rehab program, and is expected to be cleared for the start of training camp."

The Celtics acquired Porzingis from the Wizards in a three-team trade that sent Marcus Smart to the Grizzlies, so it cost them a key piece of their core to add the big man this offseason. Boston also gave him a two-year extension worth $60 million, so Porzingis is a key part for the C's over the next three years.

He was relatively healthy for Washington last season, with his 65 games played the most action Porzingis has seen since the 2016-17 season -- his second year in the league. Porzingis averaged a career-best 23.2 points per game off 50 percent shooting overall and 39 percent from 3-point range last season, to go along with 8.4 rebounds per contest.

Rest is the best course of action for Porzingis and his plantar fasciitis, and now he'll have at least a few weeks off before the Celtics tip off training camp sometime in late September.

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