Boston Celtics star playmaker Kemba Walker is out at least until January – and likely longer – as he recovers from a stem cell injection in his left knee in early October that took him on the sidelines all season, coach Brad Stevens said on Tuesday.
“I think we’ll have a more comprehensive update here next week, as we thought, just around the turn of the New Year,” Stevens said.
“He won’t be back anytime soon, sure, you know we hope to get him back as soon as possible, but we want to make sure that when we do, it’s for good. So I think it is. the most critical thing from our point of view. “
Boston is 1-2 without Walker, who averaged 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game last season. The Celtics would be winless if Jayson Tatum did not include a 3-point game down with four-tenths of a second left in a season-opening 122-121 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics played Indiana (3-0) on Tuesday.
“You can see how much we miss him and you know it’s funny when we go back and put together clips of things we maybe haven’t covered or things we would like to do differently, it’s in all of them, “Stevens continued.
“So we have to find a way to be the best version of ourselves until he comes back and I think it starts with being a little better defensively and getting the best shot possible.”
Walker, a 10-year-old UConn pro who spent the first eight years of his career at Charlotte, signed a four-year, $ 141 million max contract to join the Celtics as a free agent before the start of last season.
He’s averaged 19.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game over his 661-game career. He will likely be on a minute restriction when he returns. He averaged 31.1 minutes per game last year.