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Celtics’ Robert Williams Out 8–12 Weeks After Knee Surgery

Celtics center Robert Williams III is expected to miss the start of the 2022–23 season after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee.

The organization announced Friday the standout defender is on the mend following surgery to “remove loose bodies and address swelling” in the knee. Williams, who also underwent surgery on March 30 to repair a torn left meniscus, is projected to return to basketball activities in eight to 12 weeks, per the Celtics. The new recovery timeline alters the timetable reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday stating Williams was “expected to need 4-to-6 weeks for recovery.”

The Celtics open training camp on Sept. 28 before playing their first preseason game on Oct. 2 and beginning the season against the 76ers on Oct. 18.

Friday’s update heightens the level of concern surrounding Williams’s condition after he battled knee issues throughout Boston’s run to the NBA Finals. However, given the team’s official diagnosis and Williams’s decision to have surgery in the offseason, Boston seems prepared to bring the 24-year-old big man along slowly in an effort to bring him back as close to full strength as possible.

During his recovery from meniscus surgery, Williams missed the final seven games of the regular season as well as Games 1 and 2 against the Nets in the first round before returning in Game 3 on April 23. He managed the pain and appeared in 17 of the Celtics’ 22 remaining playoff games, including all six matchups in their Finals loss to the Warriors, and played a pivotal role as a defensive anchor in the low post.

Williams, the 27th overall pick in 2018, has proven to be an impactful force on the defensive end when healthy and figures to be featured prominently in Boston’s gameplan depending on his health. In 61 regular season appearances, Williams averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, the second-best mark in the NBA (Jaren Jackson, 2.3 BPG).

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