The Golden State Warriors got a major injury scare on Sunday as big man Otto Porter Jr. left the game in obvious pain after coming down hard on his foot.
Porter has already been dealing with injuries this playoff run before leaving Game 3 on May 22, and could now be looking at the prospect of more time away from the team. Porter appeared to suffer the injury to his left foot in the second quarter, limping to the locker room for evaluation and not returning to the game.
While the full extent of the injury was not immediately clear, it could be a significant setback for the Warriors if they were to lose one of the most important players off the bench. It also put a damper on what turned out to be a 109-100 victory for the Warriors, giving them a three-games-to-none lead over the Mavericks and putting them just one win away from what would be their sixth trip to the NBA Finals in the last eight seasons.
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Porter in Pain
Porter has dealt with lingering foot injuries all season long, missing 19 games during the regular season due to injury or load management. He also left Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies with soreness in his right foot and missed Game 6 before returning for the start of the Western Conference Finals.
As ESPN’s Kendra Andrews noted, Porter’s injury on Sunday appeared to be the opposite foot.
“Otto Porter Jr. is grabbing at his left foot after landing on it on his last bucket,” she tweeted. “The original injury that held him out a few games was with his right foot.”
The TNT broadcast on Sunday showed Porter walking gingerly to the locker room after suffering the latest injury, and The Athletic’s Anthony Slater reported that he underwent X-rays. The team announced that Porter was suffering left foot soreness and would not return, but gave no further update on the extent of the injury.
Porter has been a key part of the Warriors’ rotation during the playoffs. As San Francisco Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau noted, the Warriors outscored opponents by 15.1 more points per 100 possessions with Porter on the floor through the first two rounds of the playoffs. Before going down on Sunday, he was averaging 10.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 23.5 minutes per game against the Mavericks.
Tough Injury History for Porter
As Letourneau noted, Porter has been through other serious injuries, both in these playoffs and throughout his career. While he was playing for the Washington Wizards in the 2018 playoffs, Porter hurt his left calf after coming down awkwardly after a layup attempt. As the numbness spread from his knee down to his ankle, Porter met with team doctors who told him that he needed emergency surgery. If he waited too long, he could lose the leg, doctors told Porter.
He was diagnosed with acute compartment syndrome, a very rare and serious condition. But with surgery, Porter was cleared to play just a few months later.
Porter said he carries the memory with him, and is grateful to be back in the playoffs with Golden State this year.
“It’s just good to be back in the playoffs, man,” Porter said. “There was a time when I didn’t know if I would ever experience this again.”