About a month into the regular season, the Boston Celtics are patiently awaiting the return of Robert Williams.
And the Celtics may have hinted Wednesday that Williams, who is recovering from an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee he underwent in late September, may be close, perhaps even very close, to making his season debut.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the Celtics tweeted out a picture of Williams working out prior to Boston’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks with a caption of “Grinding to get back on the court (eye emoji).”
While it’s not unusual for the Celtics to tweet out a picture of a player going through a pregame workout, it is surprising when it’s a player making his way back from injury. It’s also a good sign Williams is traveling with the team.
Williams reportedly hasn’t suffered any setbacks with his recovery and is now entering the time frame of a possible return with the 25-year-old center eight weeks removed from having surgery. Williams is expected to return within 8-to-12 weeks.
Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla also provided an optimistic update on Williams when speaking with the media before his club faced the Hawks.
“Timetable hasn’t changed, but he is progressing in what he’s doing. Just his basketball workouts,” Mazzulla told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston. “Looks good physically, but looks good mentally. Everything is going well. Definitely happy where he’s at.”
The Celtics have certainly shown they can win with Williams out of the lineup, but getting him back would be a big benefit for a struggling Boston defense. The Celtics are ranked 19th in the NBA in defensive rating this season, which is a far cry for the No. 1 rating they held last year.
Given Williams’ injury history, the Celtics most likely will take a very cautious approach with the fifth-year pro, but it’s hard not to excited that Williams’ return to game action could be just around the corner.