Boston Celtics forward Kristaps Porzingis will not play for Latvia in the FIBA World Cup because of plantar fasciitis.
Porzingis announced on social media that he made the decision after an MRI in consultation with the Celtics and Latvian coaching and medical staffs about the foot issue.
“Such a decision is not easy to make, but I promise that I will be there and support the team as much as I can,” Porzingis wrote in Latvian.
He didn’t indicate how quickly he could return to basketball, but plantar fasciitis can be an ongoing issue. Porzingis posted that he already has had “several weeks of recovery.”
The World Cup begins begins August 25 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Porzingis is the latest NBA name to bow out of the tournament; among the others, Greece’s Giannis Antetokounmpo said he cannot play because of his ongoing recovery from knee surgery, NBA Finals MVP Nikola Jokic of the champion Denver Nuggets opted not to play for Serbia because of his short offseason.
No. 1 overall draft pick Victor Wembanyama of the San Antonio Spurs declined a chance to play for France so he could prepare for his first NBA season. And Canada is waiting to hear if Jamal Murray of the Nuggets will decide to play, or if he, like Jokic, will keep using time to rest for Denver’s title defense.
Boston acquired Porzingis from the Washington Wizards in a three-team trade in June. The Celtics, who sent defensive specialist Marcus Smart to the Memphis Grizzlies in the deal, added the 7-foot-3 Porzingis after coming within one game of the NBA Finals. Porzingis averaged a career-high 23.2 points per game along with 8.4 rebounds last season in Washington.
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