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Kemba Walker cleared for practice, “pain-free for months”

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Boston Celtics v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

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Kemba Walker hasn’t played since Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on September 27th and for most of last season, his knee had been bothering him.

“To be honest, it wasn’t good. I wasn’t myself,” Walker said. “I played through it and I was able to get through it. … It was tough, but you know a lot of guys are banged up. Everybody’s hurt. I try not to make excuses.”

Walker is currently on a 12-week strengthening program that was supposed to near conclusion at the end of January. “I don’t think he’s too far. He looks great, the he’s been here after coming straight from the FIBA games,” Brad Stevens said before tonight’s game against the Washington Wizards. “He looks great and has been pain-free for a couple of months.” Despite enthusiasm about Walker’s eventual return, Stevens cautions that the team will slowly work him back into the rotation.

Per the eagle eyes of former CelticsBlogger and The Athletic’s Jared Weiss, Walker got the “cardiac fade” in anticipation of his return:

Last season, Walker averaged 21.8 points on 38.8% shooting from behind the arc and 5 assists before the All Star break. In the Orlando bubble and the playoffs, his numbers dropped to 19.6 points on 31 3FG%. When he returns, he’ll give a boost to a Celtics’ offense that is currently 8th in the league with a 112.8 offensive ratings. Per The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, the Celtics are targeting next Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic for Kemba’s first game of 2020-2021.