ORLANDO, Fla. -- Prior to the Celtics departing for Orlando on Tuesday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters that Robert Williams III had a groin injury and would have an MRI scheduled.
The news that Williams, limited to 32 games as a rookie last season due in part to an assortment of injuries, was hurt had a “here we go again” feel to it.
But Williams’ injury didn’t appear to be serious and the results of the MRI confirmed that, paving the way for him to be with the Celtics and likely play in Friday’s game against Orlando.
Stevens said that everyone with the team, Williams included, was able to participate in practice on Thursday.
“I felt really good today and in practice,” Williams told NBC Sports Boston, adding that he had the MRI on Tuesday prior to traveling with his teammates to Orlando.
Williams said he'll continue to get treatments that include icing the affected area.
“I’ll do the same stretches, the same workouts [on Friday] and hopefully I’ll be able to go,” Williams said.
Getting the news that it wasn’t serious was a huge relief to Williams, who has made staying as healthy this season one of his primary goals.
Williams was the starting center in the Celtics' first preseason game against Charlotte and hopes to be with the first group on Friday. If he isn’t, look for Williams to still be in the team’s regular rotation.
With so many new faces on the roster and new roles still being ironed out, Williams understands the importance of being part of that process.
“It’s very important,” Williams said. “I feel like us being together, getting that togetherness during the preseason, is big for us. I feel like everyone needs to be here … so we can build that tough core.”
And then there’s playing time, something Williams is intent on getting as much of as he can this season.
Last season, he knew minutes would be few and far between with Al Horford and Aron Baynes around.
Horford opted out of the final year of his contract with Boston and eventually signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. And Baynes was traded to Phoenix in part to create enough salary-cap space to sign Kemba Walker.
That has left a huge hole at center that Williams is hopeful he will be able to fill.
“That’s what we’re here for, right? To play, " Williams said. "Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'll do it."
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