BOSTON (CBS) — Kemba Walker made it through Monday’s practice, and the Celtics could have their starting point guard back Tuesday night when the Brooklyn Nets visit Boston. But the C’s may be down a couple of other key players when they take on the Nets at TD Garden.
While Walker may return, Boston might be without Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart, both of whom missed Monday’s practice due to an illness. Their statuses for Tuesday’s game remain uncertain, and both are listed as “questionable” on the team’s Monday injury report.
Not having Tatum wouldn’t be ideal for Boston, as he’s taken over the NBA over the last month. Tatum is coming off a February where he averaged 30.7 points in his 12 games, hitting 49 percent of his shots from the floor. He’s scored 30 or more points in four straight games and five out of his last six.
Smart took Walker’s spot in the Boston starting five during the point guard’s absence, and averaged 18.5 points, 5.8 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals over his five games as a starter.
Walker has missed the previous five games with left knee soreness, but is listed as “probable” for Tuesday’s game. He will be on a minutes restriction when he returns to action.
“Kemba got through everything today. The plan, should he feel good tomorrow, would be that he would be limited,” Stevens told reporters after practice on Monday. “Whatever minuets he plays, he’s going to have to play it at full throttle. That’s part of getting back. But that’s also why he’ll be limited.”
“It’s going to be tough playing limited minutes, but it’s all about the long haul,” Walker said after the session. “It’s all about being healthy when it counts. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
If Walker plays Tuesday night, it’s highly unlikely he’ll play again Wednesday night when the Celtics visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on the second leg of a back-to-back.
“This is all different,” said Walker. “It’s about me understanding what this is about and being able to compete at a high level for the playoffs. That’s really all I’m thinking about.”