Robert Williams Injury: Danny Ainge Estimates Celtics Center’s Return Date

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams is moving in the right direction, according to president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Ainge offered some insight Thursday into the timetable for Williams’ return. The 22-year-old hasn’t played since Dec. 6 while recovering from a hip injury.

“I think we’re still shooting around March 1, give or take a few days here or there,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.” “But I think that’s still a target date.”

This is the same aspired return date Ainge announced last week. Williams has been ailed by a bone edema in his left hip that was diagnosed Dec. 16. He participated in his first full-contact workout since the injury this past Sunday.

“He looks good,” Ainge said Thursday. “He looks excited and enthusiastic and I think everything is moving in the right direction.”

Boston’s frontcourt will benefit from the return of the versatile big man. The Celtics have dealt with myriad injuries throughout this season but finally might return to full health shortly after the NBA All-Star break.

“We’ve just had a year where there’s been one guy hurt, thank goodness we haven’t had any real serious injuries,” Ainge said. “We’ve had the mysterious type of injury with Robert Williams, but other than that one, most of them have been fairly minor injuries. But I’d like to see them play together more.”

In 19 games with the Celtics this season, Williams averaged 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in about 14 minutes per game, while providing rim protection that some hoped Boston would try to acquire before last week’s trade deadline.

When Williams is healthy, Boston not making a significant move might not matter.