Joe Mazzulla encouraged by Robert Williams' progress after Celtics practice




 

Robert Williams back 'soon'? Mazzulla pleased with big man's progress originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

BOSTON -- Robert Williams' progress amid his rehab from knee surgery was on public display Wednesday.

The Boston Celtics big man participated in scrimmages during the team's morning shootaround at the Auerbach Center, and reporters captured Williams blocking a shot while looking relatively spry.

Ahead of the Celtics' game against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at TD Garden, head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked about the status of his 25-year-old center, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late September.

"Progression has been just continuing to get him stronger, which he's doing a great job at," Mazzulla said. "And then just really his reconditioning, getting him back into game shape, and then mentally just making sure he feels comfortable.

"Hopefully he's ready to go soon. He's been working hard at it, so just continuing to get better. "

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that Williams could be back in the Celtics' lineup by Christmas Day. That'd be a great development for the C's, who have roared to a 17-4 start without their starting big man.

There's obviously no need to rush Williams back with the team playing so well, but Mazzulla insisted the team's record has nothing to do with when Williams will make his 2022-23 debut.

"I don't think the two are correlated," Mazzulla said. "I think it's more about making sure he's fit, making sure physically he's good, and just making sure his conditioning is where it needs to be, and then when he's comfortable, him coming back."

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Mazzulla confirmed Williams has had no setbacks, and considering the big man is already scrimmaging with the team, it's reasonable to expect he'll be playing by the end of December.

While Boston has thrived without him, Williams could help the Celtics raise their game to another level -- especially on defense, where he earned a handful of All-Defensive Team votes last season as an elite shot-blocker.

So, what's the official timeline on a Time Lord return?

"When he's ready to go," Mazzulla said with a smile.

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