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Celtics' Kemba Walker to miss start of 2020-21 season

The All-Star guard is on a plan to strengthen his troublesome left knee.

Kemba Walker averaged 20.4 points in 2019-20, his first season with the Celtics.

The Boston Celtics will start the 2020-21 season without one of their top players in the mix.

Guard Kemba Walker, an All-Star last season, will be out until at least early January as he works to strengthen his troublesome left knee. Per the team, Walker consulted with multiple specialists in early October and received a stem cell injection in his left knee. Afterward, he was put on a 12-week strengthening program.

He is expected to return to on-court activities in early December, but his status for game availability won’t be known until at least the first week of January, the team said.

Walker appeared in 50 games prior to the season’s suspension in mid-March and averaged 21.2 points, a team-leading 4.9 assists per game and 4.1 rebounds per game. From the season’s start until mid-March, Walker sank 165  3-pointers and was on pace to hit more than 260 of them.

By mid-January, Walker had begun to experience soreness in his left knee. He missed 10 games over the course of the two months leading up to the suspension of the 2019-20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. After February, the injury clearly affected Walker’s game: he shot 31.7% overall after shooting 43.9% through January.

The Celtics also announced on Tuesday that guard Romeo Langford, who had successful surgery in September on a torn scapholunate ligament in his right wrist, is continuing to rehab from his injury. Additionally, new forward/center Tristan Thompson suffered a minor hamstring strain during an offseason workout prior to arriving in Boston. His availability for the first week of training camp will be limited.