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#pounditTuesday, August 16, 2022

Timeline for Robert Williams’ return from knee injury revealed

Robert Williams during a game

The Boston Celtics were dealt a major blow this week when Robert Williams was diagnosed with a torn meniscus, but the big man may not be out as long as initially expected.

Williams underwent surgery on his left knee Wednesday morning. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Williams is expected to miss 4-6 weeks, and there is optimism that he could return on the earlier end of that time frame.

Williams left Sunday’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves with the knee injury. Wojnarowski reports that the extent of the injury allowed for the center to undergo a procedure that won’t force him to miss as much time as other players with similar injuries have.

If Williams returns on the early end of the timeline, the Celtics could conceivably have him back for the second round of the playoffs.

The Celtics have won 24 of their last 29 games and are the hottest team in the NBA. They’re just one game out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Williams, 24, has averaged 10.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. His biggest contributions have come on defense. The Celtics have the best defense in the NBA, and that is largely because of Williams. He has held opponents to less than 40 percent shooting and been one of the best defenders in the league this year.

Boston is probably hoping to avoid the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs, especially with Williams out. The Nets entered Wednesday as the No. 8 seed in the East and are likely headed for the play-in tournament.

Photo: Nov 1, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) reacts during the second half against the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

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