Tim Bontemps: Tom Thibodeau says Nerlens Noel and Taj G…

More on Kemba Walker Injury

Tim Bontemps: Tom Thibodeau continues to say Kemba Walker is ramping up and making progress, but doesn’t commit either way to him playing tomorrow against Dallas. Walker has missed the past several games with knee soreness. Thibodeau said Nerlens Noel is ramping up, as well.
Marc Berman: Hearing rookie PG Miles McBride will likely play in the G League tonight in Bridgeport, Conn. for Westchester vs. Motor City. Makes sense with PG Kemba Walker on verge of return and McBride not getting minutes again.
Kemba Walker has gone from a sweet comeback story after his demotion to a New Year’s Eve mystery. One hour before the Knicks were to face the Thunder on Friday, Walker was ruled out with left-knee soreness. This wasn’t load management but a mishap that happened during pregame warm-ups, with no timetable for his return or a grasp on what may be new with his arthritic left knee. Walker was not on the bench in street clothes as the Knicks were beaten 95-80 by the rebuilding Thunder to end 2021 on a low note. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said he’ll be tested further.
“It was last minute,’’ Thibodeau said. “He was warming up, and something didn’t feel right. So, I haven’t talked to the trainers yet. It was a last-minute scratch.’’ Asked if this was serious, Thibodeau said, “I don’t know, because he started his warm-up, and then he stopped. And then [trainer] Anthony [Goenaga] was looking at him and just felt, let’s get him examined, and then we’ll go from there.’’
Tim Bontemps: Kemba Walker says it was understandably frustrating for him to have to sit and watch these past couple games. "But I got to get right. I just gotta get right."
Jay King: Kemba Walker said it’s been “really tough” to deal with this, especially during the playoffs. He came to Boston to experience high intensity games. He hopes to get healthy again over the offseason. “I’ve gotta get right.”
Ian Begley: Kemba Walker (bone bruise, left knee) is listed as questionable for Game 4 of Nets-Celtics. Brad Stevens told reporters that Celtics would know more about Walker's status after morning workouts today. Following those workouts, Walker is unlikely to play in Game 4, per sources.
Keith Smith: Celtics injury report is lengthy for the Minnesota game on Saturday afternoon: Brown, Smart, Thompson, Walker, R. Williams - All OUT Fournier and Tatum - both probable.
John Karalis: Brad Stevens says he's hopeful Robert Williams will play tomorrow. Kemba Walker will miss at least the next two games with his side strain. He's hopeful Tatum will play tomorrow as well
Jared Weiss: Stevens' Celtics injury update: - Walker under the weather but "Hopefully will be able to go tomorrow." - Brown is doubtful for tomorrow with shoulder bursitis. - Smart is back - Fournier is out - Rob Williams "Tried to do a little bit more but won't be able to go tomorrow."
Jay King: Kemba Walker said his struggles aren’t due to his knee. Said he just has to find a rhythm again. Believes it will just take time. Pointed out that it’s just his 11th game and he went a while without being able to play ball at all. “Nothing with my knee or anything like that.”
John Karalis: Kemba Walker is on a "20.. 20-ish" minute restriction today according to Brad Stevens
Brian Robb: Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker's return and health: "He feels really good about where he is."
Jared Weiss: Kemba Walker says that he is feeling different now than the way he did going into the bubble because he has had the full amount of rehab time he needed. "Whenever I'm mentally ready to get out there and am comfortable, I will."
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens says Kemba Walker has been able to continue rehabbing in 1-on-1 sessions. Walker went "full-go" today at practice but did not go live. He looked good, per Stevens.
Chris Mannix: Kemba Walker has been cleared to begin practicing with the team, Celtics say. Walker has not played this season while rehabbing a lingering knee injury.
Jared Weiss: Brad Stevens says Kemba Walker is not on the road trip and there is no update on his knee yet. Planned update supposed to come next week. Javonte Green (COVID protocols) is not on the trip and there is no timeline for his return yet. Celtics on a 4 game road trip right now.
Q. Kemba Walker is going to miss the start of the season after receiving a stem-cell injection in his knee. What’s your concern level about his situation? Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck: Kemba got multiple opinions, and nobody said to get surgery. So any time you’re not getting surgery, it’s hard to get too worried. So that’s my answer. Kemba will be back.
Brian Robb: Kemba Walker on if he can say what a stem cell injection does: "I can't lie. I can't. (laughs) Have to ask the doctors...I trust the doctors."
Jay King: Kemba Walker said he met with two knee specialists. “The goal was pretty much to get to the bottom of things.” Wanted to get back to who he is as a player. He believes taking some time to get healthy was the best course of action.
Following consultation with multiple specialists in early October, Celtics guard Kemba Walker received a stem cell injection in his left knee, and was put on a 12-week strengthening program to prepare for the upcoming season. He is expected to return to on-court activities in early December, and a further update regarding his game availability will be provided during the first week of January.
According to the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell, who covered Walker during his eight seasons with the Hornets, the tricky part will be getting Walker to buy into a slow ramp-up. "Kemba is so tough that he is genuinely his own worst enemy," Bonnell told NBC Sports Boston co-hosts Chris Forsberg and Kyle Draper on a new Celtics Talk Podcast. " ... Kemba was determined to play all 82 games in the season before this, and he did. That was not a good idea. It was a pride thing to him. In the long haul, that doesn't make sense. "There were definitely times when (Hornets coach) Steve Clifford would say to Kemba, 'Look, you need to tell us when you're not feeling right and that knee is bothering you, and let us be party to the decision about whether you should sit down for a game or two.' "

How did how does the knee feel right now? And as you project forward to the playoffs? Do you see it being any kind of, you know, inhibition to your ability? Kemba Walker: Well, it feels good man. That's me being completely honest. You know, the whole reason I'm only stretching is to see how it reacts after every game. And it's been it's been doing well and it's me feeling better and better after every game, so I'm definitely trending upwards. I think I'm gonna be fine. I think I'll be fine.
Those already concerned about Kemba Walker's knee probably did a double-take when Kendrick Perkins implied Tuesday that the Boston Celtics had "lost" their star point guard to injury. During an interview Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak & Bertrand," head coach Brad Stevens sung a very different tune when asked about Walker's health. "His knee is the strongest it's been since he got here in September," Stevens said.
Chris Forsberg: Brad Stevens on Kemba Walker: "Came out of Sunday feeling well.” Stevens said Walker will not play tonight. "Lot of guys won’t play tonight” then lists Smart, Hayward, Tatum, Brown, Theis and Kanter as also out.
Jay King: Brad Stevens said Kemba Walker “recovered great” from playing live yesterday. He’s expected to go live again tomorrow at practice.
However, that mindset may have come back to bite him in Boston over the course of this season so far. He returned quickly on three different occasions during the 2019-20 season after experiencing knee pain and struggled in all of those returns before the season was suspended on March 11th. With pain popping up again at the start of training camp in the Orlando bubble, Walker is adjusting to a new reality that the team is prioritizing: protecting him from experiencing more setbacks. “It's definitely pretty frustrating,” Walker admitted of his condition. “Just because I'm not a guy who misses many games, especially throughout the course of my career.”
Walker went throughout most of the season layoff without issues in the surgically repaired knee but starting to experience issues again when returning to Boston for individual ramped up workouts. “It was definitely a pain,” Walker said of what he felt. “I can’t really explain it, but it was a pain on the side of my knee that was bothering me. I don’t know how much else I can say. Throughout my career, I haven’t missed many games, and I’ve been able to play through a lot. It was bothering me, so that was the best choice for me to make, was to sit out. Like I said, this is not normal for me, being out like this, but the smart way to go about things because I want to be at my best for my teammates and this organization when the regular season comes around and most definitely in the playoffs.”
Jay King: Kemba Walker said he felt pain on the side of his knee after individual workouts. He reminded that he’s been able to play through a lot in his career. Said it’s not normal for him being out like this, but it’s the smart way to approach the issue.
“The knee is doing well,” Walker said. “It’s difficult because I don’s have anyone around to get me some treatment or anything like that, so I have to do my own stuff, which I’m trying my best to do as much as possible. Still trying to stay on top of things, so at this point it’s all about discipline.”
Mark Murphy: Kemba Walker is talking with staff about possibility of resting his knee in preparation for playoffs: "They’re putting it in my mind. I haven’t really had to do that much over the years and think like that over the years. So it is (a possibility)."
Celtics guard Kemba Walker will return to the lineup Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks after missing three games with left knee soreness. "I feel pretty good," Walker said Friday after the team's morning shootaround. "It's much improved. I'm going to try to give it a go tonight." Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Walker is going to be on a minutes restriction of about 30 against the Hawks. He played over 35 minutes in three of four games prior to sitting out.
A. Sherrod Blakely: Kemba Walker cites the team's chemistry as a possible factor in Danny Ainge's decision to keep the team intact at the trade deadline. The players really like each other. "We get along, maybe too well," Walker quipped.
Storyline: Kemba Walker Injury
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