Celtics' Robert Williams discusses knee injury, his focus entering new NBA season

Robert Williams discusses knee injury, his focus entering new NBA season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Robert Williams III won't be on the court when the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers in their 2022-23 NBA season opener Oct. 18, but he's ready to attack his latest rehab and return to game action as soon as possible.

Williams recently underwent successful surgery on his left knee, the same knee that he had surgery on in March and kept him out almost a month before he returned during the team's run to the NBA Finals.

The 24-year-old center is expected to miss around eight to 12 weeks as he recovers from the procedure.

"Some recurring problems," Williams said Monday when asked about his knee at Celtics Media Day. "It took a toll on me mentally. I want to be there, but all I can focus on is this rehab and getting back on the court. That's what I'm ready for."

Where is Williams at mentally right now?

"Mentally, it's one of my better days," he said. "Just realizing the trust I have in this team with my rehab process and the processes I've been through with them a couple times. Feeling good today, seeing all the guys together and stuff. It's a battle, it's tough, but I'm here for it. I'm ready to get back out there."

Williams played in a career-high 61 regular season games last season, in addition to 17 playoff games. Staying healthy on a consistent basis has proven difficult for him through four NBA seasons. He's appeared in just 174 regular season games over that span.

The Celtics are a much better team when Williams is on the court. He's one of the best defensive players in the league and was selected to the All-Defensive second team despite missing 21 games.

Williams set career highs by averaging 10 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game last season. He still has the potential to be even more productive at both ends of the floor, and health is the biggest obstacle standing in his way.