The Boston Celtics revealed on Monday that point guard Kemba Walker is set to miss the first chunk of the upcoming NBA season after undergoing a stem cell procedure on his left knee that will require at least a 12-week strengthening process.
Walker, who was signed as a free agent last offseason to replace departed star Kyrie Irving, dealt with knee problems last season and was never at 100% during the second half of the season. Minutes restrictions in the NBA Bubble and soreness forced him to miss significant minutes during Boston’s playoff run.
In order to attempt to correct the problem, the 30-year-old point guard underwent a procedure that the team hopes will produce added strength in his troublesome knee.
The downside to the procedure is that he won’t be ready until early January at the very earliest, leaving Boston without their starting point guard for the beginning of the season.
The team had hoped that Walker would be ready for the beginning of the season, but the earlier-than-expected December 22nd start date made it impossible for him to be ready in time for the season’s opening tip-off.
As coach Brad Stevens explained, “He’s had great work over the last few weeks with regard to strength, but we are going to proceed slow and I do think the expedited timeline on December 1st impacted him quite a bit in regard to his own timeline of starting the season on time.”
Walker hopes to join the team before too long, but he has a moderately long road left to go before he will be able to do so.