98.5 The Sports Hub staff report
Even with over four months off the court, the Boston Celtics are going to exercise caution with Kemba Walker’s knee.
So much so that the 30-year-old guard will likely begin the NBA restart on a minutes restriction, according to C’s coach Brad Stevens.
“Kemba is more of a deal that we just want to utilize this time while we have everybody together and while we’re in these spaces to strengthen his knee,” Stevens said over the weekend. “The biggest thing that we don’t want to do is go through a typical training camp, which is usually a ramp-up session for most people to get where they need to be. For him, we need to make it a ramp-up session so he doesn’t have setbacks once we start playing.
“He will start playing under limited minutes, most likely.”
You saw the start of that process come on Sunday, too, as the Celtics decided to hold Walker, who missed nine games from January on due to his ailing knee, out of their first “hard practice” in the NBA’s Orlando bubble city setup.
“The goal is [for Walker] not to be limited once the playoffs come around,” Stevens offered. “But certainly, I think it’s very reasonable to expect scrimmages, and at least in the first week or so of seeding games, that he’ll be limited.”
Walker, who is in the first year of a four-year, max contract with the Celtics, averaged 21.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game in 50 appearances for the Celtics during the regular season.
The Celtics will return to action against the Milwaukee Bucks on July 31.