The Boston Celtics will return to action from the All-Star Break on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but they will be without Kemba Walker for that game and potentially beyond.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters on Friday that Walker experienced some swelling in his knee after the All-Star Game and needed to have it drained. Walker’s knee has bothered him at various points throughout the season, and Stevens said the star point guard would not have played in the All-Star Game had he known this could potentially happen.
Stevens says Walker’s injury is “short-term enough” that an appearance in the Lakers’ game is still possible, although he hasn’t asked the medical staff about it yet.
— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) February 21, 2020
Stevens would not rule out Walker returning for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, and he said he does not expect the injury to be a long-term concern. However, the Celtics undoubtedly wish Walker had taken the All-Star Break off now in hindsight.
Walker, who played in all 82 games for the Charlotte Hornets last year, has missed eight games this season. He downplayed his knee trouble a few weeks ago and said it was the basic wear and tear from playing a lot of basketball, but it will certainly be something for Boston to monitor going forward.
Walker is averaging 21.8 points, 5.0 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game in his first season with the Celtics. He’s an intense competitor who never wants to leave the floor, but keeping him healthy for the postseason will be a priority for Boston.
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