Robert Williams reportedly will have knee surgery, miss training camp

Williams reportedly could miss some of the early season as well.

Robert Williams
Robert Williams III of the Boston Celtics prepares to shoot a free throw against the Golden State Warriors. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Celtics big man Robert Williams will undergo an arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee, according to Heavy’s Sean Deveney.

Per Deveney, citing a source, the procedure will keep Williams out for training camp — which begins Tuesday — and possibly some of the early weeks of the regular season, which begins on Oct. 18 in Boston. Williams is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Celtics’ season opener against the 76ers is precisely four weeks away.

Williams underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee in March, which limited him throughout the playoffs. After the Celtics clinched their berth in the NBA Finals, coach Ime Udoka shouted out Williams for “playing through pain.” Williams later told Yahoo! Sports the Celtics’ training staff assured him he couldn’t make the injury worse by continuing to battle through, and that his decision whether or not to play essentially came down to pain tolerance.


“I was really having my knee drained a lot last series,” Williams told Chris Haynes during the Finals. “I stopped draining it because there was no point, in my opinion. My knee kept filling back up with fluid. So, I’ve kind of learned how to manage it to be able to play.”

The Celtics need a healthy Williams to be competitive in the Eastern Conference. Last season, they were 5.9 points per 100 possessions better with Williams on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass, and Williams was part of a starting lineup that demolished opponents by 24.3 points per 100 possessions.

Last year, Williams signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension that kicks in this season.


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