The NBA’s four-month hiatus gave Kemba Walker an opportunity to let his injured left knee heal, and Brad Stevens doesn’t want to hinder his progress when play resumes.
Despite putting up impressive numbers during his first season in Boston, the Celtics star struggled with the injury in the months following his appearance in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, sitting out several games as a result. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the NBA to press pause for four months, the extended time off gave Walker a much-needed opportunity to better rehabilitate his knee, and he’s pleased with its progress.
That said, Stevens doesn’t want to push the guard too far too fast.
“Kemba’s (injury) is more of a deal that we just want to utilize this time while we have everybody together and while we’re in these spaces to strengthen his knee,” the C’s head coach told reporters Saturday, via Forbes’ Chris Grenham. “The biggest thing that we don’t want to do is go through a typical training camp, which is usually a ramp-up session for most people to get where they need to be. For him, we need to make it a ramp-up session so he doesn’t have setbacks once we start playing. He will start playing under limited minutes most likely. And who knows what that means, but the goal is not to be limited once the playoffs come around. But certainly, I think it’s very reasonable to expect scrimmages, and at least in the first week or so of seeding games, that he’ll be limited.”
The Celtics resume play July 31 against the Milwaukee Bucks.