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Joe Mazzulla on Robert Williams return: “pretty close to returning”

It’s about time.

2022 NBA Finals - Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Before Sunday’s tip off in Brooklyn, head coach Joe Mazzulla gave an update on Robert Williams and a timeline on his much anticipated return.

He went through another session today. He’s progressing really well, pretty close to returning, you know, along with the timeline,” Mazzula said before the Celtics’ 103-92 win over the Nets. “It’s just a matter of getting him back conditioning-wise and making sure he’s comfortable and ready to go.”

Earlier in the week, practice video surfaced of The Time Lord participating in full court scrimmages. After his surgery on September 23rd, his recovery time was set between eight-to-twelve weeks. Last Friday marked Week 10 of his rehab.

“Rob is an outstanding player. He’s one of those guys that changes the entire make-up of the team and that’s for the better,” Grant Williams said last week with Boston’s starting center on the verge of his comeback. “He provides shot blocking. He provides a vertical threat at the rim. He provides a person that just brings energy and a guy that’s always been our anchor. He’s always been a guy that has our backs whenever things go wrong or when things go right. He’s always there.”

The Second Team All-Defense member will be re-joining a Celtics team turning a corner on the defensive end. In Boston’s first twelve games, they ranked in the bottom-third in defense, allowing 113.2 points per 100 possessions. Since then, they’ve ranked 4th in the league in defensive rating at 109.9. Adding Williams will only supplement that improvement.

The team is currently on a six-game road trip with a seven-game homestand to wrap up December. If Williams comes back on December 16 at TD Garden against the Orlando Magic, that would mark the end of a twelve-week recovery.

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