Celtics center Robert Williams said he was hopeful that his surgically repaired left knee would simply need rest this summer, but recurring issues led him to undergo a second surgery last week that will keep him sidelined 8-12 weeks.
“I feel like it was just the lack of having time [after the season],” Williams said. “I was playing on it last year, it had instances where I had to give it time during the summer to rest, but I just feel like it never got back to what it was. That’s the bottom line. So we want to do 100 percent of rehab and do things the right way.”
Williams, who was walking without crutches or any signs of a limp Monday at Media Day, tore the meniscus in his knee last March and missed about a month after undergoing surgery. He returned during the playoffs and appeared hobbled for much of the Celtics’ run, but he said he has no regrets because reaching the Finals was a lifelong dream.
“I made a decision as a man to keep playing,” Williams said. “That’s my decision, regardless of the recurring injuries, whenever they did happen, I bought into that decision. I feel like that’s the biggest thing to just me being there mentally, get myself ready, get myself back, and put my 100 percent rehab in is all I can focus on.”
No rush to hire
With interim coach Joe Mazzulla replacing Ime Udoka, who has been suspended a year for violations of team policies, there is an opening for a top assistant. Mazzulla said he and the front office will likely decide as a group whether to fill the position, but there is no urgency.
“I think the last thing in a moment like this is to rush into something,” Mazzulla said. “I think it’s about really taking your time, seeing what is best for the players, what is best for the organization, and then just making sure we’re patient in that. So, I think we’ll do that together.”
Jaylen Brown said he was glad to see the No. 6 of Celtics legend Bill Russell, who died July 31 at the age of 88, will be retired leaguewide.
“I think that was an obvious one,” Brown said. “What he stood for in this organization and this league meant a lot, so to be commemorated in an appropriate light is just fitting for someone like him.
“I think we forget that in that social climate that was going on during that time, for him to be able to stand above that and be able to speak on that platform and bring a lot of life to situations, we commemorate him.”
Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.