The Boston Celtics announced Tuesday that center Kristaps Porzingis has sustained a rare injury to his left leg and is listed as questionable for Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday. This development adds uncertainty as the Celtics aim to extend their 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

Porzingis, a pivotal player for the Celtics, suffered a torn medial retinaculum, allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg. The injury occurred during the third quarter of Boston’s Game 2 victory on Sunday. The team has indicated that Porzingis’ status will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s kind of a random situation,” Porzingis said to ESPN. “I felt something, and now I have to deal with it. I’ll see how I am tomorrow, and obviously, I’m going to do everything I can to be out there.”

After a five-week absence due to a calf strain, Porzingis’ return in Game 1 of the Finals was impactful. He scored 11 points in the first quarter off the bench and maintained his influence in Game 2. Boston has outscored the Mavericks by 25 points in the 44 minutes Porzingis has played in this series.

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Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla emphasized that the decision to play will rest with the medical staff, not Porzingis. “He’s doing anything and everything he can to be ready for the game tomorrow,” Mazzulla said. “It’s a serious injury. Our team and the medical team are not going to put him in any bad situations.”

Porzingis himself is uncertain about the implications of playing with his injury. “I don’t know the specifics. But from my side, nothing is going to stop me unless I’m told I’m not allowed to play.”

If Porzingis cannot play or is limited, the Celtics will need to rely more heavily on veteran Al Horford, who has had variable performances when required to play extended minutes. The backup centers Luke Kornet or Xavier Tillman may see increased playing time, which could provide opportunities for Mavericks stars Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving to exploit Boston’s defense.

Despite the potential setback, Celtics forward Jaylen Brown expressed confidence in the team’s depth and readiness. “KP has been tremendous for our group, not just in the playoffs, but all season long. It’s obvious him on the floor just helps elevate us to a different level. But we’ve been priding ourselves on next-man-up mentality.”

As the Celtics prepare for Game 3, they remain focused on their collective strength, hoping to move one step closer to securing their record-setting 18th NBA title.

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