Boston Celtics: It’s time to worry about Kemba Walker’s knee

Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Though Kemba Walker has had ample time to recover from his knee ailments during the more than four-month hiatus, the Boston Celtics still appear to be a bit trepidacious moving forward.

As the Boston Celtics took the floor for practice on Monday, All-Star point guard Kemba Walker did not partake for the second time in a row. Despite the four-month break, it appears Walker has not been able to shake the soreness in his left knee that caused him to miss six of the final 10 games before the season was suspended in March.

Coach Brad Stevens addressed the situation after practice, assuring the media they have a plan in place to ease Walker back into high-intensity workouts:

Walker is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, but that should not make Boston Celtics fans turn their backs on the situation. The veteran is one of the most explosive and shifty guards in the league, allowing him to lose defenders and create space almost at will, but the majority of his moves require putting pressure on his knees.

In the four games he played after the All-Star break, it was clear Walker did not possess those usual set of skills, and that can be supported by his atrocious stat lines. In those games, Walker shot an abysmal 30.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep while playing 27.5 minutes per game.

Stevens talked further about Walker’s knee, mentioning the team wants to strengthen it to avoid any setbacks when his starting ball-handler begins to play at full speed. It should also be noted that he will be on a minutes restriction when the team begins the final eight games of the regular season starting July 31st against Milwaukee.

Despite the organization’s extremely cautious approach and optimism that Walker will be fine, anyone cheering on the Boston Celtics this summer should be worried. Knee injuries have haunted the 17-time World Champions, just as recently as Kyrie Irving in 2018, and very notably Kevin Garnett in 2009, both of which might have cost Boston a championship during those seasons.

They are pesky injuries that often seem to linger around, not allowing players to be 100 percent themselves on the court, which makes it even scarier knowing Walker signed a 4-year, $141 million max-contract this past offseason.

Hopefully the organization’s cautious approach will allow Walker to get back to his All-NBA self during the resumption of the season, but Celtics Nation should be very worried until he can show the knee issue is behind him.

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