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Porzingis: I'm "100 percent" healthy

Tom Donoghue/NBAE/Getty Images

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis says he’s “100 percent healthy” after sitting for the past four days due to a quad injury. He expects to participate in full in New York’s shootaround Friday morning and hopes to be back on the court Saturday against the Charlotte Hornets.

The 20-year-old insisted Thursday he is healthy enough to get back on the court, but he hasn’t yet been cleared by the team’s medical staff.

“They want to go slowly. They want to make sure I’m totally fine,” Porzingis said. “They’re very cautious with me. I’m telling them every day, ‘I want to get back, I want to get back.’ (They say) step-by-step, step-by-step, not to get back too quickly and something else happens. They’re taking care of me.”

Porzingis has suffered three injuries to his left leg/hip in the past four months, so it makes sense for the Knicks to proceed with caution.

Head coach Derek Fisher suggested earlier this week that the team training staff might tweak Porzingis’ workout habits to try to avoid future injury. But there have been no changes yet.

“They’re trying to figure out why did this happen,” Porzingis said. “I’m sure they have something in mind. I think it’s just stuff happens. It’s not that I’m doing something wrong or they’re doing something wrong. It happened. It was a quick recovery. They did their best. I’m back now and hopefully nothing happens in the future and I’m healthy.”

Afflalo returns: Knicks shooting guard Arron Afflalo participated in practice for the first time in two weeks Thursday and expects to make his preseason debut Friday against the Boston Celtics.

Afflalo suffered a hamstring injury in training camp and has participated in just three practices this season.

But he doesn’t expect conditioning to be an issue.

“My wind is great because I’ve been doing conditioning, sprints, weight training,” Afflalo said. “The surrounding staff has been great with me. It’s just more or less getting the continuity with my teammates. As you know, the triangle offense takes some time to get on the same page with your guys so I just want to be able to get out there, play at a good game speed, not be so frantic out there.”

Afflalo and Robin Lopez were the Knicks’ top free-agent signees over the summer. The Knicks expect Afflalo to start at shooting guard alongside Jose Calderon.

Fisher explained why the Knicks made Afflalo a target in free agency.

“His character,” Fisher said. “He’s a team guy and he competes on both ends of the floor. It sounds strange to say a guy competes on offense and defense. But there’s a level of physicality and aggression that Arron plays with that I think is good for us. He hasn’t played basketball in several months so we have to understand we won’t see the best of him for a while probably. He’s good enough to help us in the time he’s on the floor.”