By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Kemba Walker will not play Monday night in Atlanta, as the Celtics guard will sit out his second straight game with left knee soreness. It’s a nagging injury that Walker has been dealing with all season, one that has now flared up twice over the last two weeks.
Should we be worried about Kemba and his left knee? A 29-year-old undersized point guard dealing with a lingering knee injury would usually be a pretty big cause for concern. No one would blame Celtics fans for being a little uneasy with the team’s star point guard missing time with a bad knee, especially given the team’s recent history with star point guards dealing with a bad knee.
However, Walker himself doesn’t sound too worried about the nagging ailment.
“It’s okay. I’m a little sore. I was a little sore last game, just thought it made the most sense to kind of take the night off and just see how it goes day by day,” Walker said ahead of Saturday’s win over the 76ers. “I’ve played a lot of basketball from summertime to now. Just a lot of games. I mean, it’s just what happens throughout the course of an NBA season.”
The Celtics have engaged in their own form of “load management” over the last month or so, giving star players a few games off as they dealt with bumps and bruises. Maybe this is their way of getting Walker a few extra nights off at the midway point of the regular season. As Walker admitted, he has some extra miles on his legs this season after playing for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup over the summer.
The knee caused Walker to miss a win over the Suns two weeks ago, but the good news is that scans after that absence came back clean. Walker will be re-evaluated this week, and could rejoin the Boston lineup Wednesday night against Orlando, though Brad Stevens wouldn’t rule out a lengthier absence when discussing Walker’s status on Saturday night.
Walker doesn’t like to sit, but he’s OK taking a cautious approach.
“I just have to look at the long haul. We’re looking to get to the playoffs and make a run, so I’ve got to look at it that way,” he said Saturday. “Just got to take care of myself, which I’ve been doing to the best of my ability. I’ve just got to continue to do that. And that’s really it.”