Rob Williams Ramping Up Recovery in Boston as C’s Hit the Road

Taylor Snow
Team Reporter

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While the Boston Celtics are on the road for their final three-game stretch of the regular season, Robert Williams will remain in Boston, ramping up his rehab process after undergoing a partial meniscectomy on March 30.

Williams has progressed through his recovery over the past week, starting with mobility and flexibility stretches before moving on to weight-bearing exercises. According to head coach Ime Udoka, “two-a-days will ramp up pretty quickly” over the next week.

“We left him back in Boston to help expedite the process,” Udoka said following Wednesday morning’s shootaround in Chicago before taking on the Bulls. “Although he could have done it here, he's a guy that's locked in with the [training staff] and so we felt it was better to leave him back there and get the process rolling as fast as possible.”

The initial estimate for Williams’ return date was four to six weeks after his surgery. That means that Williams could return sometime in the next three weeks, which would position him to be back in time for the start of the second round if the Celtics advance.

It’s unlikely that Williams would be back any time during the first round, though Udoka says the possibility hasn’t been ruled out since every recovery is different.

“We haven't looked at him being here for the first round, honestly,” Udoka said. “Four-to-six timeframe is what it is and everybody kind of reacts differently to surgeries. But if possible, we haven't really ruled him out, obviously, being if he's ready. But we're going in with the mindset that he won't be there for the first round.”

Boston has slipped a little bit on the defensive end during Williams’ absence, as it has seen its defensive rating rise to 110.7 over the last four games after posting a league-best mark of 104.7 over its previous 25. However, the C’s have remained among the top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating over the past four contests, and after dropping the first two games without Williams, they have rebounded by winning their last two.

Both Al Horford and Daniel Theis have stepped up to help fill Williams’ void. Udoka has been particularly impressed with the impact of Theis, who has logged three double-digit scoring efforts in the last four games after recording just two such efforts in his previous 14 outings.

“He’s another guy who can do some of the same things, and obviously great insurance policy to have him there,” Udoka said of Theis. “He’s guy that's been around, although different schematically. The guys all know him and know what he’s about, and he’s picked it up pretty quickly.”

It also appears as though Williams is picking it up quickly from a rehab perspective, which could help lead to an early return.

“He’s in good spirits,” Udoka said. "It’s his first surgery, and so he's attacking it with the right mindset, and I’m looking forward to having him back sooner than later.”