Celtics C Kristaps Porzingis reportedly expected to miss start of Eastern Conference finals

The Celtics are optimistic the big man will return at some point in the series

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) during Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Kristaps Porzingis has been out since the first round. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis is reportedly on the way back, just not imminently.

Porzingis is expected to miss Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, but there's optimism he will return at some point during the series barring a setback, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The big man has reportedly ramped up his on-court activity in anticipation of a return.

The Celtics are facing the Pacers in the conference finals, after Indiana eliminated the New York Knicks on Sunday for the second spot.

Porzingis sustained his injury in Game 4 of the first round against the Miami Heat on April 29.

Boston had little trouble dispatching the Cleveland Cavaliers in the previous round without Porzingis, with veteran Al Horford providing a major boost after being pushed into the starting lineup. The Celtics' four wins had an average margin of victory of 15 points, culminating in a 113-98 Game 5 win.

While it's looked easy for the Celtics so far, it's hard to argue they can reach their ceiling without a healthy Porzingis. Alongside Jrue Holiday, he joined the Boston starting lineup this season via a blockbuster trade and gave the Celtics a new look, adding up to a league-best 64-win season.