Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Dallas Mavericks star big man Kristaps Porzingis will be out for the start of the 2020-21 NBA season as he continues to recover from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said in a radio interview Monday the team is being cautious with Porzingis, who missed more than a season due to a separate knee injury earlier in his career.
Nelson told ESPN that the Mavericks have targeted Jan. 1 as the date that Porzingis could resume on-court activities.
"We're going to make sure that that's 100% before we put him out there, so that's going to be into the season before we are able to have him join us," Nelson said Monday on 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas.
The 25-year-old Porzingis, who is entering the second season of a five-year, $158 million maximum contract, underwent surgery on his right knee in early October to repair the meniscus injury that forced him to miss the final two games of the Mavericks' first-round playoff series to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Porzingis missed the second half of the 2017-18 season and all of the 2018-19 campaign after tearing his left ACL in February 2018 in what ended up being his final game with the New York Knicks. The Knicks traded Porzingis to the Mavericks a year later.
Porzingis averaged 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and two blocks per game in his first season with the Mavericks. The 2018 All-Star Selection has averaged 18.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game in his NBA career.