Kristaps Porzingis says he’s OK following eye injury vs. Pacers


Porzingis was poked in the eye in the first quarter and returned briefly before heading to the locker room.

Kristaps Porzingis did not return to the game after the first quarter on Saturday. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

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Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t had much luck with injuries this season. On Saturday night, he didn’t make it through the first quarter before heading to the locker room.

During a fight for a rebound, Porzingis was poked in the eye by an Indiana Pacers player. He stayed down on the court for a minute before heading to the Celtics bench. He checked back into the game briefly, but the eye seemed to be bothering him and he eventually left for the locker room.

Afterwards, Porzingis was ruled questionable to return with “right eye irritation” but he was not seen on the Boston bench in the second half.

Joe Mazzulla did not have an official update on Porzingis’s status following the game, but Porzingis told reporters he was OK as he left the locker room, according to The Athletic’s Jared Weiss.

When Porzingis is in the Celtics lineup, he’s hugely impactful. He came into Saturday’s matchup third on the team in points per game (20.5), and leads the team in blocks per game (1.8).

On the other side of the coin, he also entered Saturday with nearly the most missed games of any Celtic all season. Prior to the Pacers matchup, Porzingis had only played in 25 games. Of the top nine members of Boston’s rotation, only Luke Kornet has played in fewer games (21).

Porzingis’s injury history is well-known, and that has lingered into his time with the Celtics. But, he’s shown plenty of upside while on the court, and as Tatum noted on Friday night, is a big part of the team’s success this season.

As of Saturday night, Porzingis’s status for Boston’s next game (Monday) is still unclear.