Boston Celtics

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 25: Tristan Thompson of the Cleveland Cavaliers warms up before Game Six of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena on May 25, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

The Boston Celtics may be down Kemba Walker for tonight’s Opening Night meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks, but some good news on the injury front may be on the way if Tristan Thompson’s pregame routine goes off without an issue.

“I’ve got to go through my routine, make sure I check all the boxes with the training staff, but things are looking like they’re going in the right direction,” Thompson, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, said when asked about his status. “We’ve got to see when I go through the warmup and they run the tests on the hammy to make sure it clears all the protocols they have on the boxes.

“If it does, hopefully I’ll be able to suit up tonight.”

A potential return has been a long time coming for the 29-year-old Thompson, too, as he missed both of Boston’s preseason tilts, and hasn’t played in an NBA game since Mar. 8 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“It’s been over nine, ten months without competitive basketball,” Thompson noted. “So I’m itching, I’m excited.”

The Celtics are itching to get him in action, too, at least based on what Brad Stevens had to say about him after he made a strong impression in the Celtics’ first practice after a blowout loss to the Nets last Friday.

“[Thompson] did a lot of practice today and you could tell our energy went to a different level,” Stevens acknowledged. “In large part because he brings physicality that we really need. I thought he added to the play and the competitiveness.”

Thompson, who won a championship as a member of the Cavs in 2016, and went to four straight NBA Finals during his nine-year run in town, averaged a career-best 12.0 points per game in 2019-20.

Should Thompson return, he’ll compete for minutes with Daniel Theis (the C’s starting center in 64 games last season) and third-year pro Robert Williams, who expects big things out of himself in 2021.

It may be a significant change from what Thompson, a 429-game starter during his run in The Land, is used to. But with the hopes of being the piece to push the Celtics over the hump, Thompson’s focus seems to be exactly where it needs to be.

“At the end of the day, I’m about winning,” Thompson offered. “I’m about how I can win and be an asset to this team to be successful. Whatever position coach wants me in, I accept. And I’ve done it before, whether it’s starting and playing at a high level or coming off the bench to be productive, I’ve done it at the highest of highs.

“Whatever Coach Stevens wants me to do to help this team win and play at our max potential, I’m all about that.”

The Celtics and Bucks will tip off at 7:30 p.m. and 98.5 The Sports Hub will have your call of the game. 

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.