BOSTON (CBS) — For the first time in a long time, the Celtics provided a positive update on Kemba Walker and his left knee.

The team announced late Friday afternoon that Walker has been cleared to return to practice with the Celtics.

The veteran guard has been out for the entire season thus far, as he deals with a knee that has limited him since last spring. He played through the pain in the bubble, and he underwent a stem cell injection in the offseason.

That procedure included a 12-week strengthening period, one that didn’t have Walker ready to go for the start of the season in late December.

At the time, the Celtics said they’d provide an update on Walker’s status in the first week of January, so Friday’s announcement shows that Walker is more or less on schedule with what was anticipated.

The 30-year-old Walker averaged 20.4 points with 4.8 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game in 56 games played last year, his first with the Celtics. In the playoffs, he averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 17 games played.