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Porzingis expects to play despite strained neck


GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis doesn’t believe a strained neck will keep him out of Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“For now, I think I’m good for tomorrow,” he said after practice on Tuesday.

Porzingis is officially listed as questionable for the game at Quicken Loans Arena because of his neck injury. He will be evaluated after shootaround on Wednesday morning before the team makes a final decision on his status.

Porzingis suffered the neck strain late in the fourth quarter of Monday’s game against San Antonio after Carmelo Anthony fell on the back of Porzingis’ head, causing his neck to bend awkwardly.

The Knicks say the rookie has a soft tissue injury and that a concussion has been ruled out.

“I felt a lot of pain in my neck. The doctors made sure nothing was fractured, everything was fine,” Porzingis said after going through a light practice Tuesday. “…When I woke up in the morning, I was kind of surprised that my neck wasn’t that stiff anymore.”

Knicks coach Derek Fisher said the team will take a cautious approach with the No. 4 overall pick. Porzingis has impressed coaches and his teammates with an aggressive approach in his first four games. The 20-year-old recorded his first double-double (13 points, 14 rebounds) against San Antonio before leaving the game injured.

“Anytime the head and neck is involved, you’re concerned,” Fisher said. “But he feels pretty good today, and hopefully it will stay that way through the afternoon. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow at shootaround.”



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