The Boston Celtics are expected to get a notable piece of their starting lineup back when they close out their West Coast road trip Tuesday night against the Sacramento Kings.
Robert Williams, who has missed the last eight games due to a left hamstring strain, was not listed on the Celtics’ injury report Monday, giving way for him to make his return after being sidelined since March 5.
Williams has played in just 28 games this season as offseason knee surgery delayed the start of his campaign. It will be the third time in Williams’ five NBA seasons that he has suited up for less than 40 games in a single season.
But getting Williams back, even though it’s possible he could be on a minutes restriction, is critical for the Celtics as they first look for a strong finish to a bumpy road trip, which included blowing a 19-point lead Saturday in a deflating loss to the Utah Jazz. More importantly, though, having Williams, who is averaging 8.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, return will assist the Celtics as they jockey for playoff positioning atop the Eastern Conference standings. They currently are in third place by percentage points behind the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics will also have Marcus Smart and Al Horford back, who both missed Saturday’s loss to the Jazz. The only players to appear on the injury report were Danilo Gallinari and Payton Pritchard. Pritchard has been out since March 8 due to left heel pain.