BOSTON — The Celtics knew they wouldn’t have Kristaps Porzingis for the remainder of their first-round playoff series against the Heat, however, some clarity regarding the 28-year-old’s timetable has been hinted at.

Porzingis suffered a right soleus strain in the second quarter of Game 4, making a premature exit before the Celtics took a 3-1 series lead over Miami. He also left Kaseya Center in a walking boot, sparking a looming cause for concern as the series returned to Boston with the Celtics having a chance to eliminate the Heat and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals — to play the winner of the Cavaliers-Magic first-round matchup.

However, as long as Boston remains poised, the Celtics might not need to wait too long before having Porzingis back and ready to go.

“I’m told that he’s likely out for next series as well and the expectation is — or the hope I should say — is that he can make a return if the Celtics were to advance to the Eastern Conference finals,” TNT’s Chris Haynes reported before Game 5. “… Right now they’re gonna use this time for him to rest and go through rehab, and around the six or seven-game mark, they will re-evaluate him to see how he’s feeling and go from there.”

Story continues below advertisement

During the regular season, the Celtics took a similarly cautious approach when managing Porzingis’ health, sitting the 7-foot-2 veteran for 25 games. It paid off, and when Porzingis was healthy, he didn’t miss a beat, leading Boston in blocks (1.9) while averaging 20.1 points on 51.6% shooting.

“I’m not sure,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said when asked about Porzingis’ timetable pregame. “Just gonna give it a week, kind of see where he’s at, kind of see how he responds to the treatment over the next week.”

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Boston has undergone the readjustment process of relying on its depth to overcome absences such as Porzingis, therefore, while challenging, the Celtics should manage once again — even in the playoffs.

Featured image via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images