Michael Dwyer/Associated Press
Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is expecting Kemba Walker will be healthy and able to play when the season resumes on July 31 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Boston Celtics @celtics
#NEBHInjuryReport Kemba Walker (knee) did not practice today, but went through a hard workout yesterday, according to Brad Stevens. He’s on a one-day on, one-day off training plan. “He’s reacting great … Every indication is that he’ll be available when we’re playing games.”
The point guard has been working through a knee injury which has recently limited him at practice.
The Celtics are remaining cautious with Walker as team activities continue to ramp up ahead of a return to play. Considering most athletes haven’t been able to maintain the same workout schedule during the pandemic, slowly increasing Walker’s practice intensity makes sense.
The guard previously said the hiatus had helped his knee but has felt discomfort since getting back on the floor in Orlando, Florida.
Stevens told reporters Wednesday the concern for Walker may be overblown (h/t John Karalis of Masslive.com):
“It wasn’t anything major. I understand why the questions are about him. We feel good about progress he’s made, we feel good about the fact he’s having no pain, we feel good about the fact he’s accumulating strength. Strength is the number one thing. We’ve got to make sure he feels as good as possible because the toll, the physical toll of playing these seeding games and the playoffs, especially when you go every other day for the most part, is going to be significant on guys who are playing major minutes, so that’s a huge part of it.”
In the meantime, Stevens said the club is working with Walker on adding strength in his knee and making sure he remains the explosive player on offense the Celtics have come to rely on.
At 43-21, Boston has already clinched a playoff spot and can use the next eight regular-season games as a way to fine-tune their rotation ahead of the postseason.
Even if that means slowing Walker down a bit to begin with.
“Any discomfort early, our training staff put a plan in place, and I’m just following it.” Stevens said. “Whatever’s best for Kemba is obviously best for us.”
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