According to the Celtics, Robert Williams will miss tonight’s final preseason game against the Heat with right knee tendinopathy. It’s unclear the severity of Williams’ injury, but with less than a week before the regular season opener in New York next Wednesday, the team will be cautious.
Add this ailment to the long laundry list that has plagued Timelord in his three seasons with the Celtics. He’s played in only 132 games since 2018, dealing with back and hip issues, knee tendonitis, turf toe, and COVID. Despite his troubled medical history, the team and Williams agreed to a four-year, $54 million contract extension over the summer that will keep in Boston through 2026.
The Celtics will already be without Payton Pritchard (broken nose), Marcus Smart (suspension), Jaylen Brown (health and safety protocols), and Al Horford (health and safety protocols) on Friday night. Jabari Parker will replace Williams in the starting lineup.
Williams played nearly 23 minutes on Wednesday night in Orlando, notching 8 points, 7 rebounds, two blocks, and his first (and now, last) dunk of the preseason.
It’s important to note that after yesterday’s practice, Williams seemed eager to play tonight, but was a late scratch. “Everybody goes through trials and tribulations. That’s what makes you stronger as a team. Obviously, we facing adversity earlier in the season than we’d expect, but it’s an opportunity for guys to step up,” Williams said.
UPDATE: After the game, head coach Ime Udoka downplayed the seriousness of Williams’ injury. “We took the safe approach and he’ll be ready to go against New York,” Udoka said of the knee soreness.