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Celtics' Robert Williams Out 8-12 Weeks After Undergoing Surgery on Knee Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 23, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams is expected to be on the shelf for the next eight-to-12 weeks.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Celtics announced the timeline Friday after Williams underwent surgery on his left knee.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski initially reported Tuesday that Williams required arthroscopic surgery on his knee. At the time, Wojnarowski noted that Williams was expected to miss four to six weeks with a return early in the 2022-23 season being likely.

Williams underwent surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, which caused him to miss nearly one month of action. Wojnarowski referred to the latest procedure as a "cleanup."

While Williams returned for the third game of the Celtics' first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets last season, he missed five additional games during a postseason run that saw Boston go all the way to the NBA Finals.

The 24-year-old enjoyed a breakout campaign last season, averaging career highs across the board with 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 2.0 assists per game, while shooting 73.6 percent from the field.

Williams also averaged a career-high 29.6 minutes per game and started all 61 regular-season games he appeared in after almost exclusively coming off the bench in his first three seasons.

The 2018 No. 27 overall draft pick out of Texas A&M was also recognized for his defensive excellence last season, earning second-team All-Defensive honors.

Williams was a key part of a deep and talented Celtics starting lineup last season that also included Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Al Horford, all of whom are back with the team for the 2022-23 campaign.

The Celtics largely have the same roster as last season with the exception of guard Malcolm Brogdon, who was the biggest addition by far.

Boston also signed sharpshooting veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, but he may miss significant time with a torn meniscus, meaning the injuries are already starting to mount for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

Until Williams is able to return, Horford will be leaned on heavily to own the paint at both ends of the floor for Boston. It is also likely that Luke Kornet and Mfiondu Kabengele will have increased roles behind Horford.

The likeliest candidate to replace Williams in the starting lineup is Grant Williams, who thrived last season as a bench player.

Boston opens its regular season on Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers, and the eight-to-12-week recovery timeline likely means Williams will miss at least the first 17 games of the season.

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