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Celtics confident Kristaps Porzingis could play in Finals

                                Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis reacts to a foul call while playing the Miami Heat on April 29.
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Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis reacts to a foul call while playing the Miami Heat on April 29.

For a player left in injury recovery limbo, a nine-day layoff before the start of the NBA Finals might be just what the doctor ordered.

That’s the position of the Boston Celtics with injured forward Kristaps Porzingis. He last played in the first round against the Miami Heat and is recovering from what the team labeled a right calf strain. In granular terms, Porzingis is dealing with a strained soleus muscle, the same injury that knocked Giannis Antetokounmpo out of the Milwaukee Bucks’ lineup.

Porzingis said on May 4 that he was confident he could get back on the court in the playoffs and that the injury wasn’t as severe as he first feared.

Initially, Porzingis’ injury was thought to require a three- to four-week recovery. He did not play in a game during the month of May, and the Celtics are on a seven-game winning streak and have gone 9-1 overall since Porzingis was injured in Game 4 of a first-round series against the Miami Heat.

Al Horford played a big role in the Eastern Conference finals and said he’ll be ready to do anything the Celtics need if Porzingis isn’t back in the fold.

“For me, it’s whatever it takes. I really just want to win,” Horford said.

Awaiting Porzingis in the Finals could be one of his three previous teams — the Mavericks. Dallas acquired Porzingis from the New York Knicks and traded him to the Washington Wizards in February 2022. He was acquired by the Celtics in June 2023.

The 28-year-old averaged 20.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the regular season.

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