Just when the Boston Celtics had finally gotten into a real groove, winning eight of nine games to begin the month of April, a familiar foe decided to rear its ugly head. Since then, it has been tough times for the boys from Beantown.
The Celtics’ daily injury report has become a continual gut punch for fans, with everyone from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to Rob Williams and Evan Fournier missing time over the last several days. Consequently, Boston’s winning ways and ascent in the standings have suddenly morphed into three losses in four tries and play-in chatter.
On Sunday, point-man Kemba Walker became the latest Celtic to get banged up.
During the first half of the Cs’ 21-point loss to the Charlotte Hornets, Walker suddenly bolted directly from the floor of play toward the locker room, clutching his hip as he did so.
Although he ultimately returned to log 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals against his former team, it was revealed on Tuesday that Walker will be out of commission for an extended period with an oblique strain.
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Walker Will Miss at Least Next Two Games
Ahead of his team’s Tuesday night date with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Celtics coach Brad Stevens updated the status of some of his players. It was then that he revealed that Walker would be unable to suit up against OKC, as well as in the team’s Wednesday rematch with the Hornets.
“Kemba’s out for at least the next two, and we’ll have to evaluate after that with the side strain,” Stevens said, via CLNS.
When asked to elaborate on Walker’s status, Stevens made it clear that his floor general would be out of commission.
“Yeah, Kemba’s out. We’re hopeful — we’re going to reevaluate him Thursday, but he’s got a strain on that side. Got some imagining done; so, he’s definite out the next two.”
Although the Celtics have avoided major injuries recently, they have still been battered and bruised to the point of missing multiple players for several games running.
And the hits keep on coming.
Injury Is Ill-timed for Walker
After playing at an All-Star level last season, Walker’s 2020-21 campaign has clearly been a hard row to hoe.
The team had attempted to free him of persistent left knee pain for more than a year before finally opting for a stem cell injection before the season. That treatment may have been the magic bullet, as Walker said in December, via NBA.com, that it “definitely calmed my knee down a lot.”
However, the therapy also kept him out of action for the first three weeks of the season. And he has continued to be held out of back-to-backs. Along the way, Walker has scuffled to establish a clear-cut role in Boston’s offense.
More recently, though, he appeared to have solved something. Over his last five games, Walker has averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists per contest while posting an effective field goal percentage of 60.3.
Consequently, the Cs’ offense had put up nearly 117 points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor.
Clearly, the team is hoping that Walker’s latest setback won’t nullify his recent progress.