By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Yeah, let’s go ahead and sound the alarm on Kemba Walker’s left knee.
Walker missed another day of Celtics team practice down in Orlando, once again getting the day off to rest his bad left knee. That knee has been bothering him since the All-Star break, and unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Walker had a rigorous workout of his own on Tuesday — Boston’s scheduled day off — so he got the day off on Wednesday. The All-Star point guard won’t be practicing back-to-back days for the foreseeable future, on orders from team trainers.
“He is feeling good,” an optimistic Stevens told reporters Wednesday. “The day on, day off thing will be in effect for a while for Walker.
“He did a lot of running yesterday, shooting. He’s shooting a little bit right now,” added Stevens. “He’s reacted great, his knee feels good, and that’s a good thing.”
As much as Stevens is playing this off as a positive, not having your starting point guard practicing isn’t ideal with the Celtics set to start playing basketball games in two weeks. Granted, the Celtics have just one back-to-back in their remaining regular season games, and they won’t have any come the playoffs.
“Every indication is he’ll be available when we’re playing games,” Stevens said Wednesday.
But Walker’s knee doesn’t sound like it’s ready to handle the rigors of a playoff run. The point guard sat out Boston’s first road trip following the All-Star break in February with the ailment, and six of Boston’s first seven games back overall. When he did play, he looked nothing like his usual self, lacking his normal speed going up and down the floor and typical explosiveness going to the basket. In the four games he did play before the NBA’s COVID-19 hiatus, Walker shot un-Kemba-like 30 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three-point range.
The Celtics were taking an ultra-cautious approach to Walker and his knee before the season was put on pause. When it became clear that games wouldn’t be played anytime soon, the hope was the lengthy break in action would work wonders for his knee.
But here we are now, following a four-month interlude, and Walker still isn’t healthy enough to hit the floor for practice. It’s becoming a lot more clear that the knee is going to be a concern throughout the NBA’s bubble season in Orlando, and chances are we’ll be wondering about Walker’s injury all the way up to Boston’s first game — and beyond.