Celtics point guard Kemba Walker missed Saturday’s game because of left knee soreness, and will probably sit out Monday’s road game against the Hawks, too. Walker has been dealing with some knee soreness for much of the season, but the Celtics do not believe it will sideline him for a long time.
“It’s definitely a tough decision for me to sit this one out,” Walker said. “But at the end of the day I just have to look at the long haul. We’re looking to get to the playoffs and make a run, so I’ve got to look at it that way.”
Walker missed the Celtics Jan. 18 game against the Suns because of knee soreness. With the Celtics shorthanded on their recent three-game road trip, however, Walker played an average of 37.3 minutes per game, well above his season average of 32.1.
“If he was on a minutes restriction or if we were concerned about it being anything more then we wouldn’t play him,” Stevens said. “We would just not play him. It could be a cumulative effect of this whole entire stretch. It could be a cumulative effect of the entire season, but you could kind of see it the other night that he was sore. And he was really sore yesterday, so that’s why we said he needs at least a few days here to see how he feels and then go from there.
“The difference in these NBA schedules, you don’t usually have a few days without a game. Yeah, obviously, when he comes back, we’ll probably have something concrete that we’ll hold him to. Because I think he’s at 32 minutes per game, which is far down from what he’s been in the past. And that’s been on purpose.”
Walker, who said he still intends to play in the Feb. 16 All-Star game, was asked Saturday whether he would welcome having his playing time monitored more closely after he returns.
“That’s not something I would like to see,” he said. “Not at all.”
Enes Kanter missed his fifth consecutive game because of a bruised hip. The Celtics recalled two-way contract center Tacko Fall from the Maine Red Claws. Rookie guard Carsen Edwards was assigned to the Red Claws.