Kemba Walker's knee practically nagged him in his first season donning the legendary Boston Celtics uniform, particularly when the games resumed in Orlando. With the brand new season just around the corner, head coach Brad Stevens shared the precautions they're taking to make sure Walker remains healthy.
Stevens joined the Bob Ryan and Jeff Goodman Podcast on the CLNS Media Network to share the team's plan with regards to Walker's knee. For Stevens, it's really just a matter of continuing what they did in the Orlando bubble: constantly keeping an eye on Walker.
For what it's worth though, Stevens and the Celtics don't expect Walker to go full blast right off the bat.
“The key to this whole thing with him is just strengthening the knee. Just continuing to take this opportunity when we’re not playing, when we’re not practicing to really focus on that. Very similar to what we did at the beginning of the bubble. I think there’ll be a transition like that because of the shortened season, the shortened offseason. It’ll be some time before he’s going full speed for us for sure,” the Celtics coach explained, per USA Today.
To recall, Brad Stevens and the Celtics placed Kemba Walker on a minutes restriction when the 2019-20 NBA season restarted in Orlando. Instead of playing some 32 minutes per contest, he played just a little over 25 per game, even missing two of the eight seeding games.
Last month, Celtics general manager and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge noticed that Walker wasn't his old self.
“Watching the games, even the games we won, even the games where he played well, I could tell he wasn't the same, physically, as he was in October, November, December,” Ainge said, per Dave Green of Yahoo Sports. “So we're going to try to get that Kemba back.”
The 2020-21 NBA season will kick off on December 22.