As the Boston Celtics open training camp, All-Star guard Kemba Walker will be a limited participant.
The team today announced that in early October, Walker received a stem-cell injection in his left knee and was subsequently put on a 12-week strengthening program in preparation for the 2020-21 season. As such, he is expected to begin his return to on-court activities in early December with updates on his playing availability to come in early January.
This timeline means that Walker will miss the beginning of the 2020-21 NBA season, which tips off on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Walker, 30, missed time due to this same knee injury last year, as it hampered him leading up to the All-Star break and up until the season's hiatus, remaining an issue throughout the NBA Restart and 2020 NBA Playoffs.
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NBA.com's Kyle Irving outlined Walker's health as a key storyline in his preview for the Celtics this upcoming season, sharing a quote from general manager Danny Ainge that indicated this timeline would be the likely course of action, as he stated that "there could be maintenance issues during the offseason and early part of the season, but at some point, he'll be back and ready to go."
This offseason, the Celtics added free agent point guard Jeff Teague, who will see an increased role in Walker's absence. The injury to Boston's All-Star guard will likely also mean a larger role for second-year guards Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters as well with last season's backup guard, Brad Wanamaker, signing with the Golden State Warriors.
Boston also provided injury updates on second-year guard Romeo Langford, who is set to miss another two to three months after undergoing wrist surgery in late September and free-agent acquisition Tristan Thompson, who will be limited in the early parts of training camp after sustaining what is described as a "minor hamstring strain."
#NEBHInjuryReport medical updates on Kemba Walker, Romeo Langford and Tristan Thompson. https://t.co/IPV26Y2uWr- Boston Celtics (@celtics) December 1, 2020
Stick with NBA.com for more updates on Boston's injuries ahead of the upcoming season. The Celtics open the 2020 preseason on Tuesday, Dec. 15 as they travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers.
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