After Kristaps Porzingis Leaves Practice, Knicks Play Down Durability Concerns

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Kristaps Porzingis, center, is dealing with a sore knee, and huge expectations with the Knicks.

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Knicks’ hopes of a smooth training camp after trading away Carmelo Anthony took a hit Thursday afternoon when Kristaps Porzingis, the team’s burgeoning star, left practice early with a sore right knee.

Knicks Coach Jeff Hornacek played down the severity of the injury, saying that he was not sure which knee it was and that he did not know whether the injury would sideline the 7-foot-3, 240-pound Porzingis for long.

“I think that his knee got a little sore there,” Hornacek said. “So we wanted to stop him from running at that point.”

The injury comes after a long summer for the 22-year-old Porzingis. He played in seven games for the Latvian national team during the European championships this month, so Hornacek and the Knicks have tried to keep his workload light so far, just as they have done for Willy Hernangomez, who played for Spain in the same tournament. Hornacek said he did not believe that Porzingis’s knee soreness was related to his time with the national team.

Porzingis did not speak to reporters.

“We’ve got to keep an eye on it,” Hornacek said. “We obviously are establishing some nice things here so far in training camp and we want to keep that momentum. He’s a big part of being out there with these guys doing that.”

Porzingis, like many other big men, has been dogged by injuries. He battled Achilles and lower-back injuries last season, somewhat disrupting his progress in his sophomore season. He missed 26 games over his first two seasons.

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