BOSTON (CBS) — Attention, everyone shouting from high above that the Celtics need more depth at center for the stretch run: They’re about to get some more depth at center for the stretch run. Robert Williams has been cleared to play.
The Celtics center has been out since early December with a left hip bone edema, but scans on his hip came back clear on Thursday. The man known as Time Lord has now been given the green light to play some basketball, and is listed as probable for Saturday night when the Celtics host the Houston Rockets.
Given he’s been out for nearly three months, Williams will be on a heavy minutes restriction when he does see the floor. But if he’s able to return to form at some point over the next few months, he could challenge Enes Kanter for some minutes off the bench behind starting center Daniel Theis. Having Williams back will give head coach Brad Stevens the option to play the matchups with his two backup bigs, going with Williams when the C’s need a little defense off the pine and Kanter when Boston needs offense.
“He had a little extra bounce in his step today,” Stevens said after Friday’s practice. “You can tell, he’s been antsy to go for a while now, so we’re happy that he’s going to be able to be back.”
Williams has played in just 19 games this season, averaging 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds over his 14.2 minutes of action. In 51 career games, the 2018 first-round pick has averaged 3.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest.
Celtics guard Kemba Walker has already been ruled out, set to miss his fifth straight game he’ll miss with knee soreness. Stevens hinted that Walker may be back as soon as Tuesday when the C’s host the Brooklyn Nets.
“He went through some of the stuff prior to practice today, did not practice,” Stevens said of Walker. “I think the plan of attack is for him to go harder in the morning, maybe even ramp it up Sunday and then go from there. So hopefully back by Tuesday, but out for tomorrow is what I’ve heard last.”