Celtics big man Robert Williams, who continues to recover from an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee, received a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection in that knee on Monday to promote healing and recovery, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.
After Williams underwent the procedure, the Celtics announced on September 23 that he was expected to resume basketball activities in about eight-to-12 weeks. However, Charania suggests that Boston’s starting center is unlikely to return until the second half of the season. That would mean Williams would remain sidelined into the new year — the Celtics will reach the halfway point of their regular season schedule on January 9.
For their part, the Celtics say they don’t anticipate a change in Williams’ recovery timeline, tweets Steve Hewitt of The Boston Herald.
Williams, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Monday, initially underwent surgery on the knee in March after tearing his meniscus. He was able to return to the court less than a month later and played a part in the Celtics’ run to the NBA Finals, but he wasn’t at 100% in the postseason. He sat out five games in the second and third rounds of the playoffs and reportedly required extensive treatment as he dealt with fluid build-up.
As Charania notes, the hope was that Williams would be OK by the fall, but he experienced discomfort when he began ramping up for training camp, prompting him and the team to decide he required another procedure.
Williams is entering the first season of a four-year extension he signed with Boston a year ago. He’ll earn a base salary of approximately $10.7MM, but will almost certainly miss out on a series of bonuses that he can only trigger by appearing in at least 69 games this season.
As for the Celtics, they’ll get by during Williams’ absence in the first half by leaning more heavily on frontcourt players like Al Horford, Grant Williams, Blake Griffin, Luke Kornet, and Noah Vonleh.