The Boston Celtics won’t be at full strength when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday night.
About 90 minutes before tip-off, the Celtics announced star center Robert Williams would not play due to left knee soreness.
“Had some soreness today,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said during his pregame media availability. “Just kind of fired up and kind of out of nowhere. Didn’t really feel anything yesterday or during the game — wasn’t an incident. A little flare up and it got irritated and tried to warm-up and didn’t feel good enough.”
Udoka added that Williams has experienced general soreness in his knee between games since coming back in the middle of Boston’s first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. Williams suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee late in the season and had surgery on March 30.
“It’s not unexpected to have this after a surgery, there’s soreness at times, just a little more irritated today than usual,” Udoka said.
Udoka said Williams doesn’t have to undergo further testing and that it could come down to pain tolerance. Udoka does not believe it will keep Williams out for an extended period of time.
“You would expect so,” Udoka said when asked if Williams would be available later in the series. “Like I said, he’s had some natural soreness after upping his minutes and intensity.”
With Williams out, Udoka is inserting Grant Williams into the starting lineup for Game 4 with the Celtics trailing, 2-1, in the series. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.