The Boston Celtics announced on Friday that Kemba Walker will miss some time after the All-Star developed swelling in his left knee following the break.Upon arriving back in Boston, Walker had his knee drained to reduce the swelling and then got an injection of Synvisc, head coach Brad Stevens said in a press conference. Stevens told reporters the injury doesn’t appear to be long-term and that there is still hope Walker can suit up for Sunday afternoon’s game against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The injury comes after the Team Giannis All-Star logged nearly 29 minutes and tallied 23 points over the weekend. Reports indicated that the point guard was supposed to be on a minutes restriction, yet only Giannis Antetokounmpo (30:45) and Ben Simmons (29:18) played more time than him. Walker, however, dispelled that rumor.
“This has nothing to do with the All-Star game, period,” he said per MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “So, it is what it is.”
He went on to add that it wasn’t exactly a “minutes restriction,” per se, but he did not expect to see as much playing time as he did.
The All-Star game, which came down to a free throw, heated up in the fourth quarter when most of the starters checked back into the game to close it out. Walker wound up playing seemingly the entirety of the untimed fourth quarter. Stevens said Boston’s medical staff allowed him to play in the game and that Kemba felt good.
Walker missed three of four games leading into the All-Star break. The one, of course, was the double-overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers. In that game, Walker saw 46 minutes of action.
Stevens didn’t reveal much in his Friday press conference beyond the fact that Walker would miss the game in Minnesota. The Celtics would go on to defeat the Timberwolves 127-117, with each player in the starting five scoring double digits and four of them dropping at least 25 points.
Walker is set to be evaluated in Los Angeles over the weekend before the team makes a decision about his status against the Lakers.
The health of the first-year-Celtic will be crucial come playoff time, as the playmaker has helped Jayson Tatum bud into an All-Star in just his third season. The Celtics, who sit at 39-16 and third in the Eastern Conference, will need all their guys healthy if they want to make a push at the Finals.
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