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Celtics’ Robert Williams expected to miss 8-12 weeks after surgery on left knee


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A bad week for the Boston Celtics got worse Friday. 

Just a few hours after holding a press conference to answer questions regarding the season-long suspension of head coach Ime Udoka, the Celtics announced that center Robert Williams is expected to miss 8-12 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee. 

Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics addresses the media during a 2022 NBA Finals practice June 15, 2022, at the TD Garden in Boston.
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

“The Boston Celtics announced today that center Robert Williams underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure to remove loose bodies and address swelling in his left knee,” Boston said on its team website. “The surgery was performed by Celtics Team Physician Dr. Tony Schena at New England Baptist Hospital. Williams is expected to return to basketball activities in 8-12 weeks.”

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On Tuesday, ESPN initially reported that Williams would miss 4-6 weeks with a knee “cleanup.” 

It’s the second time in less than a year that Williams has had a procedure on his left knee. The Celtics big man underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in late March. 

Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics prepares to shoot a free throw against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden June 16, 2022, in Boston. 

Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics prepares to shoot a free throw against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden June 16, 2022, in Boston. 
(Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The timetable for Williams’ return means Boston will be without its starting center until right before Thanksgiving, at the earliest. 

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Williams has been injury prone for most of his NBA career but appeared in a career-high 61 games last season in his best year as a pro. 

Williams averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game as the anchor of the Celtics’ defense.

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Williams’ injury timeline is the latest blow to an organization that lost its coach for the entirety of the 2022-23 NBA season Thursday for “violations of team policies.”

Udoka reportedly had a consensual relationship with a female staffer within the Celtics organization. 

Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics shoots against the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden June 16, 2022, in Boston. 

Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics shoots against the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden June 16, 2022, in Boston. 
(Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)

Free-agent signee Danilo Gallinari was expected to contribute off the bench for Boston but tore his ACL in the FIBA World Cup qualifier in August. 

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Yesterday I had successful ACL surgery,” Gallinari wrote in a social media post Friday. “Now the focus is on my rehab and return to the game I love.” 

“See you soon on the court.”

While the Celtics did not provide a timeline for Gallinari’s return to the court, the typical recovery time for Gallinari’s injury is six to 12 months. 



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