Center Robert Williams III will return to basketball action in eight to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left knee, the Boston Celtics announced Friday afternoon.
The team said it was performed to “remove loose bodies and address inflammation in the left knee,” marking Williams’ second knee surgery this calendar year.
On March 30, Williams underwent a partial left knee meniscectomy after suffering a torn meniscus. He returned to the court for Game 3 of Boston’s first-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets, but suffered recurring knee pain and inflammation throughout the playoffs, causing him to miss a total of 7 of the Celtics’ 24 postseason contests. En route to a six game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
After Game 6 of the Finals, Williams said the only treatment his knee needed was rest, and Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens reiterated the same message in his own press conference after Boston’s season ended.
A return to basketball action of eight to 12 weeks will keep Williams — one of the most impactful defenders in the NBA and a key part of Boston’s suffocating league-leading defense — at least until Thanksgiving, and possibly after Christmas. .
Williams, who turns 25 next month, averaged 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 61 games for Boston last season, fourth in the NBA.
The Celtics announced that Danilo Gallinari has undergone surgery on an ACL injury he suffered while playing in FIBA World Cup qualifiers for Italy in late August. Gallinari, who signed a two-year, $13 million contract with Boston as a free agent in July, was expected to provide a significant boost to the bench scoring this season along with guard Malcolm Brockton, whom Boston acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers.
Last season with Atlanta, Gallinari averaged 11.7 points per game and shot over 38.1 percent from 3-point range. In 728 career games, the 34-year-old Gallinari is averaging 15.2 points per game and shooting 38.2 percent from 3-point range.