The 2020-2021 Boston Celtics were underwhelming to say the least. The team got bounced from the playoffs after the first round in large part due to a plethora of injuries. Jaylen Brown tore a ligament in his wrist, which required surgery in May, while Robert Williams dealt with a turf toe injury down the stretch. In positive news, both of those players are progressing nicely, according to Brad Stevens.
“Both guys should be ready to not only be cleared for training camp but far before that so they can ramp up appropriately,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston.
It’s an encouraging sign, especially when it comes to Brown. The Celtics struggled mightily to score without the shooting guard in the late stages of the season. Most of the pressure went to Jayson Tatum, who performed, but one man cannot make a team. Brown is coming off his first All-Star season, where he averaged 24.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
“Jaylen just had another scan, looks great,” Stevens said. “He’s been working out here every day and has done stuff with other people on the floor with him. Supposedly will be cleared for live contact within the next couple weeks.”
Williams dealt with a number of injuries in his third season. Although he played a career-high 52 games, he missed 20 games at different points throughout the year. When he was in, Williams put up 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. He had his best season and was given much more playing time. The opportunities will only continue to grow for the 23-year-old big man who could be back on the court in the next few days.
“Rob is getting better,” Stevens said. “Looks good. Saw him a couple days ago. I think that if he isn’t cleared to play today, he’s cleared to play any time soon.”
All signs point to healthy returns for both Brown and Williams. Lucky for them and the Celtics, the NBA is going back to its normal calendar next season, so training camp doesn’t start until Sept. 28 with the regular season set for Oct. 19.