Celtics’ Rob Williams nears season debut after knee surgery, day-by-day update
SAN FRANCISCO – Boston Celtics Center Rob Williams has been upgraded to day-to-day as he nears his return from offseason knee surgery, both Williams and coach Joe Mazzulla said Friday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Williams tore the meniscus in his left knee in March and underwent a partial meniscectomy on March 30.
- He continued to play with significant swelling and fluid drained from his knee, missing seven of Boston’s 24 playoff games.
- Williams and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said after the NBA Finals that he would just need to rest, but he experienced discomfort during his pre-camp workout and underwent surgery on Sept. 23 to remove loose bodies and treat swelling in the knee. .
Williams became a pivotal part of the Celtics’ turnaround last season, taking on such a crucial role in the defensive scheme that he received his first NBA All-Defensive nod. The center averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2 blocks per game in his first season as a full-time starter. After returning from his initial procedure, he struggled to stay healthy during the postseason. But Williams found a rhythm as time went on and became one of Boston’s most important players during the Finals.
After surgery in March, Williams returned in time for Game 3 of Boston’s first-round sweep. Brooklyn Nets. Although he was clearly rusty and somewhat clogged, he played an increasingly important role for the Celtics through Milwaukee and Miami. Boston’s defensive scheme relied on him going down the baseline and shutting down drives that broke the aggressive perimeter switch. In attack, he was a constant lob threat who also made brilliant passes every night to save loose balls or find wide open teammates. The Celtics successfully adapted to him operating in a limited capacity in the playoffs, but they needed him to be 100 percent to beat the warriors.
What they are saying
When Williams had surgery in September, the team said he would return to basketball activity in eight to 12 weeks. Williams then received a PRP injection in mid-October, he reported Those of Athletic Shams Charania, this led to concerns that it could extend his recovery time. However, the team maintained it was still on track and that was evident when Williams was playing after a shootaround on Nov. 30, the first time he played five-on-five in public since last season.
“It’s a day-to-day process,” Williams said Friday. “We checked a lot of the boxes I needed to check. I worked today feeling good, I might work after this. See how I feel tomorrow.”
Asked if he could play as soon as next week in Los Angeles, Williams smiled and said, “It’s day-to-day. It’s a possibility of anything, day-to-day.”
Mazzulla was also asked, repeating “day by day” while trying to keep a big smile on his face.
“The biggest thing for Rob is that he’s comfortable where he is,” Mazzulla said. “From a fitness standpoint and a mindset standpoint that he’s comfortable out there and he’s going to be fine. I think the biggest thing is where he’s at and how he’s feeling and so he just keeps working on it , and when it’s ready, it’s ready.”
While everyone was tired at the end of the Nov. 30 game, Williams was on the floor trying to catch his breath. This made it seem unlikely that he could be in good enough shape to play N.B.A two weeks later, but he is optimistic that his conditioning is now in a better place.
“I hope a lot has changed,” Williams said. “But, no, we’ve been chasing it, man. We write every other day, tough plays, playing three-on-three, four-on-four. You caught the end of practice, but it’s right. It’s great.”
(Photo: Paul Rutherford/USA Today)
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