According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, Boston Celtics center Robert Williams is expected to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss all of training camp and likely the beginning of the regular season. Deveney mentioned that the recovery timeline would be around 4-6 weeks.
However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN also reported on the story, stating that the timetable for recovery will be roughly 6-8 weeks. A four-week recovery time would see the big man return at the very start of the regular season, six weeks would see him miss the first two weeks, and eight weeks would be the entire first month.
Williams tore his meniscus in the same knee at the end of March, causing him to miss the end of the regular season last year, as well as the first two games of the playoffs. He returned in Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets but was noticeably impaired. The big man averaged just 23.2 minutes in the postseason compared to his 29.6 regular-season average.
Last year was a breakout season for Williams. In addition to logging a career-high in minutes, Williams also appeared in more games than ever before (61). He averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 blocks while shooting 73.6% from the field. Williams was also named to the All-Defensive Second Team.
Now, the Celtics will head into the regular season with two fewer frontcourt pieces than they anticipated, as the newly-signed Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL while playing at EuroBasket earlier this summer.
As far as replacement options, there’s a chance the Celtics could look to sign a free agent, but in the past, they’ve emphasized the desire to test out internal options first. Luke Kornet stands out as one player who will need to step up, and Grant Williams should be prepared to play a larger role, too.
Outside of that, there’s a chance that Mfiondu Kabengele could be utilized on his two-way contract, and if Noah Vonleh impresses in training camp, he could earn more opportunities, too, as the lone big man on an Exhibit 10 deal in Boston.