Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 15: Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics directs his teammates during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

The Boston Celtics finally have some good news to share about Kemba Walker.

“Celtics guard Kemba Walker has been cleared to begin practicing with the team,” the team announced Friday. “Further updates on his status will be provided as appropriate.”

It’s the first real step Walker, who received a stem cell injection in his left knee in early October, has taken towards a return to the Green. It’s also a better update than what we last heard about the 30-year-old guard, with Brad Stevens saying that Walker ‘wasn’t close’ last month.

Walker has also made it clear that he’s not returning to the court until he’s 100 percent good to go.

“I’m coming back when I need to come back and when I’m feeling good to play,” Walker said in his first press conference of the season. “That’s it. I haven’t really been a guy who’s been hurt over the course of my career, so this sucks, but I also love the basketball and I wanna play at a high level in front of the fans who come to watch this game. That’s the plan [and] it’s no rush on my end.”

In 56 games with the Celtics, Walker averaged 20.4 points per game and shot 42.5 percent, and his 38.1 percent from deep was the third-best single-season mark of his career.

The Celtics have gotten off to a 6-3 start with Walker on the shelf, with Marcus Smart running the point as Boston’s starting point guard in Walker’s absence, and with rookie guard Payton Pritchard providing a much-needed scoring boost out of the gate.

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.