Celtics big man Robert Williams has struggled with pain and swelling in his left knee throughout the postseason, and he continues to be listed as questionable ahead of Game 6 against Golden State on Thursday, but that status isn’t a mere smokescreen.
“I honestly take it day-by-day,” Williams told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. “I can be feeling good right now, and then the next couple of hours it’s pretty sore. I try to take it day-by-day as much as I can.”
The 24-year-old has to go through multiple hours of treatment every day in order to manage the knee, but he’s also endured more invasive medical procedures to stay on the court. League sources told Haynes that Williams “had his knee drained repeatedly during the Eastern Conference Finals” versus the Heat.
“I was really having my knee drained a lot last series,” Williams confirmed to Yahoo Sports. “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.”
Boston’s medical staff has assured Williams that his surgically repaired knee won’t get worse if he keeps playing, but pain management continues to be an issue, Haynes writes. Williams said he plans to continue to battle until the season concludes.
“S–t, we’re trying to win,” Williams told Haynes. “It’s crazy. I’m living my dream right now. Obviously, it would be way better if we win, but my whole thing is accountability for my team. Letting them know I’m here through whatever, and hopefully, the message is relayed to everyone else.”
Williams, who was named to the All-Defensive Second Team this season, averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 61 regular season games (29.6 minutes). However, he’s clearly been hampered by his knee in the playoffs, with his averages falling off to 7.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 16 games (22.6 minutes).