Six minutes into his debut Friday, Williams exited — and did not return to — the court after banging knees with an opposing player late in the first half. He later revealed his bumped knee is also suffering tendinitis.
“A lot of guys have tendinitis,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge told the Boston Herald‘s Mark Murphy. “Tendinitis is probably the most common injury there is in the NBA. I played my whole career with tendinitis.”
Williams had also missed the team’s game on Sunday, but Ainge, coach Brad Stevens, and summer league head coach Jay Larranaga are not ruling him out for the remainder of the tournament. Boston will play at least two more games in Las Vegas.
Stevens told reporters he gets a daily update about Williams’s status, which he effectively deemed “day-to-day.”
“Every morning, they say, ‘Can he play or can’t play?'” Stevens said. “So far, it’s been: ‘Can’t play.’ I don’t want him to play if he’s hurting at all, but we’ll reassess it whenever our next game is.”
“It’s not like he’d be ruled out of summer league by any means,” he said during a separate interview on the ESPN2 broadcast Monday. “I think it’s very possible he could play Wednesday or Thursday, whenever our next game is.”
Although Williams is not participating in games, Stevens said he has been cleared to “do stationary shooting and ball-handling.”
“They’ve been spending 30 minutes every day working on the form of his shot, building that up, building some depth to it, helping with his free-throw accuracy — which is gonna be really important — and then working his handle, because we’ll ask him to handle the ball a lot, whether he’s shooting from deep or not,” Stevens said.
Williams’s injury is just the latest wrinkle in his start with the Celtics. The 20-year-old overslept his introductory conference call and missed the team’s first summer league practice in Boston because he had missed his flight. But Stevens echoed both Ainge’s and Larranaga’s confidence in Williams moving forward.
“Obviously, it’s been well-documented the first practice wasn’t so hot,” Stevens said. “But everything since then has been great. He’s working . . . I’m really encouraged by his work, his attitude. He picks things up really quickly.”