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Celtics' Robert Williams to be back 'sooner than later,' likely still miss first-round series

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Robert Williams’ rehab is apparently off to a terrific start.

Just don’t expect the Boston Celtics center to be ready in time for the postseason.

Celtics coach Ime Udoka said Wednesday that while they haven’t ruled anything out officially, it’s likely not possible to have Williams ready for their first-round playoff series after his knee surgery last week.

“We haven’t looked at him being here for the first round, honestly,” Udoka said, via MassLive. “Four-to-six week time frame is what it is and everybody kind of reacts differently to surgeries. But if possible, you know, we haven’t really ruled them out obviously, being if he’s ready, but we’re going in with the mindset that he won’t be there for the first round.”

Williams underwent surgery last week to repair his meniscus after tearing it against the Minnesota Timberwolves late last month. The team initially said he was going to miss 4-6 weeks recovering.

Almost immediately after last week’s surgery, though, Udoka said that Williams “started the mobility, flexibility standpoint, and then weight-bearing and different exercises.” Undoubtedly, that’s a good sign.

Williams has averaged 10 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season, and is by far one of the better defenders in the league with 2.2 blocks per game.

The Celtics have won two straight heading into Wednesday’s game against the Bulls in Chicago. They currently sit in second in the Eastern Conference standings, but are in a tight race with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers — who all share the same record.

Though Williams didn’t make the trip to Chicago, Udoka doesn’t think he’ll be out too long. As long as they make it out of the first round of the playoffs, it sounds like Williams should be ready to go.

“He’s a guy that’s locked in with the guys and so I felt it was better to leave him back there and get the process rolling as fast as possible,” Udoka said, via MassLive. “But like I said, he’s in good spirits. His first surgery, so he’s attacking it with the right mindset and I look forward to having him back sooner than later.”

Celtics Robert Williams
Celtics center Robert Williams underwent surgery to repair his meniscus last week. (Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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