On September 21, Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney was the first to report that Robert Williams III would need arthroscopic surgery on the same knee where he tore his meniscus. The expected timeframe for his return was reportedly four to six weeks, meaning he would miss a few regular-season games at worst.
However, after Williams underwent surgery, he appears to be out for longer than originally planned. When the Boston Celtics announced that Williams had successful knee surgery, they announced that Williams would be out for eight to 12 weeks.
That means he might not return until December. When the 2022-23 season begins, the Celtics will be without one of their starting centers for the first few weeks and who knows for how long.
Williams’ surgery combined with Ime Udoka’s suspension means the Celtics will have to make some adjustments after last season.
When Williams’ surgery was first reported, many questioned why Williams had the surgery so late in the offseason when he could have had it much sooner, which could have negated any missed time. Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney explained the timing for Williams’ surgery.
According to sources, Williams decided to take the pressure off his knee after the Celtics ended their six-game loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals in June and spent July resting. Then in August he started increasing his activity level by training in California and the knee responded well. There was no evidence that further surgery would be required.
“It was only recently that swelling and pain in William’s knee started to return, necessitating surgery.”
Deveney also clarified that Williams, who played in the playoffs, had little to do with most of his surgeries as it would do no further harm.
“Prior to playing in the postseason, Williams had his MRI run by three different doctors outside of Celtics orbit, all of whom gave him the OK to play. The possibility of pain was always there, but the doctors all concluded that there was no chance of further damage to the knee from playing these games.
“In fact, as the postseason progressed, Williams had less pain and didn’t have to have shots to drain fluid. In other words, playing in those games didn’t lead to this surgery.”
Williams’ playoff debut began in Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round and ended in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, though he missed a few games here and there throughout their playoff run.
Following their report on Williams’ surgery, the Celtics announced that Danilo Gallinari underwent successful surgery to repair his cruciate ligament tear, although no timeframe was given for his return.
Gallinari is expected to miss most if not all of the season, although Adam Himmelsbach reported that Brad Stevens had told him that Gallinari was determined to play next season.
“Stevens said Gallinari, who signed a two-year deal in July, has strengthened his knee in preparation for surgery and is motivated to return this season.”