When Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney was the first to report the timeframe for Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III’s return, it was supposed to be four to six weeks. Then, when Williams had surgery to repair his knee, the Celtics announced that he would return to basketball activities in eight to 12 weeks.
Why is William’s recovery timeframe going to take longer than initially reported? Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston gave fans the inside scoop when talking about a conversation he had with Williams.
“The thing I was left with [while talking to Williams] was he said, ‘We’re going to get it right this time and make sure that when I get back out there, [I’m] 100 percent,’ Forsberg said, according to an October 4 tweet from NBC Sports Boston. “And so, I think as much as it’s hard to stomach the longer timeframe than what we initially heard, I think both Rob and the team understand that if they’re going to do anything this season, they need him healthy, and they need him back to his springy self.”
Williams managed to make his 2022 playoff debut in Game 3 in the first round against the Brooklyn Nets after originally tearing his meniscus, but he missed multiple games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat as the Celtics made their run to the NBA Finals.
Joe Mazzulla Provides Update on Williams
Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about Williams during the Celtics’ practice on October 4. Mazzulla confirmed that Williams had been involved — film study and shooting free throws — as much as he could be, given his status, but also said Williams knew how to handle his treatment.
“He’s in a great mind frame,” Mazzulla said. “As guys are getting better on the court, he knows the treatment room is his basketball court right now. So he’s doing a great job of getting treatment and kind of building towards that.”
As Williams recovers, the Celtics have yet to announce their starting lineup. Will they start another big, such as Luke Kornet or the recently added Blake Griffin, to go beside Al Horford? Or go smaller with someone like Derrick White or Malcolm Brogdon?
They went smaller with White in the first preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets, but that could very well have been an experiment.
Mfiondu Kabengele Praises Robert Williams
Kabengele impressed Celtics fans in his preseason debut with the team when he put up 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, which included a 3-pointer, alley-oop and an and-1, among other highlights.
Following his performance, Kabengele praised Williams as well as Horford for how helpful they’ve been.
“Rob’s been good because he’s been out because he watches practices while he does his rehab. He might give me a little comment here and there on what I can work on. So, Rob and Al have both been really helpful,” Kabengele told reporters.
Kabengele is on a two-way contract with the Celtics, but if this strong preseason play continues into the regular season, he could very well be the temporary Williams’ replacement the Celtics are looking for.