SAN FRANCISCO— Boston Celtics Center Rob Williams has been upgraded day by day as he nears his return from offseason knee surgery, Williams and coach Joe Mazzulla said Friday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Williams tore the meniscus in her left knee in March and underwent a partial meniscectomy on March 30.
- He continued to play despite significant swelling and had fluid drained from his knee, missing seven of Boston’s 24 playoff games.
- Both Williams and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said after the NBA Finals that he just needed a rest, but he felt discomfort during his pre-camp buildup. training and underwent surgery on September 23 to remove the loose bodies and treat swelling in the knee. .
Williams became a key 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 original procedure, he struggled to stay healthy throughout the playoffs. But Williams found a rhythm over time and became one of Boston’s most important players in the Finals.
After surgery in March, Williams returned early for Game 3 of Boston’s first round against the brooklyn nets. Although clearly rusty and a little hampered, he played an increasing role in the Celtics as they passed Milwaukee and Miami. Boston’s defensive scheme depended on him running around the baseline and shutting down drives that ran through aggressive perimeter switching. On offense, 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 at limited capacity in the playoffs, but they needed him to be 100% to beat the Warriors.
What they say
When Williams underwent surgery in September, the team said he would return to basketball in eight to 12 weeks. Then Williams received a PRP injection in mid-October, as reported Athleticism Shams Charania, which has raised fears it could extend his recovery timeline. However, the team maintained he was still on track and that was demonstrated when Williams argued after a shootout on November 30, the first time he played five-on-five in public since the last season.
“It’s a daily process,” Williams said Friday. “We ticked a lot of the boxes that I had to tick. I worked today feeling good, I could have some work after that. See how I feel tomorrow.
When asked if he could play next week in Los Angeles, Williams smiled and said: “Day to day. It’s a possibility of anything, day to day.
Mazzulla was also asked, and he kept repeating “day to day” as he tried to contain a big smirk on his face.
“The most important thing for Rob is that he is comfortable where he is,” Mazzulla said. “From a fitness and mindset point of view, he’s comfortable and it’s going to be fine for him. I think the most important thing is where he is and how he’s doing. feels and so he keeps working on it, and when he’s ready, he’s ready.
While everyone was tired at the end of the Nov. 30 scrimmage, Williams was on the ground trying to catch his breath. This made it seem unlikely that he could be in good enough shape to play in the NBA two weeks later, but he’s optimistic his conditioning is in better shape now.
“Hopefully it’s changed a lot,” Williams said. “But, no, we went after that, man. Scrimmaging every other day, tough scrums, playing three-on-three, four-on-four. You all caught up to the end of practice, but that’s okay. It’s cool.”
(Photo: Paul Rutherford/USA Today)