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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Boston Celtics have been short-handed all season because of injuries, so why would Friday night against Minnesota - the first game after the All-Star break - be any different?

Kemba Walker was ruled out Thursday because of left knee soreness that led to his knee swelling up and having to be drained. 

Celtics coach Brad Stevens added that Walker also was injected with Synvisc, a pain relief treatment used for knee soreness. 

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"That put him back for a couple of days," Stevens said. "We'll see how it goes from here. He's been dealing with knee soreness all year. He'll be out at least tonight and we will have a better game plan after that."

More than anything, the injury likely means the Celtics will be even tighter in their monitoring of Walker's minutes, which are significantly lower than they were in his first eight NBA seasons with the Charlotte Hornets (34.1) before this first season with Boston (32.2).


Walker, who will miss his ninth game this season with the knee issue and an early-season concussion, played 29 minutes Sunday in the All-Star Game in Chicago, finishing with 23 points for Team Giannis, which lost 157-155 to Team LeBron.

After the game, Walker acknowledged that he was on a minutes restriction for the game but wound up exceeding that due to the game's down-to-the-wire finish and his play in helping lead Team Giannis' comeback.

Stevens said that the difference with Walker's knee when he came back from the break was the amount of swelling.

"That was an indicator we needed to check it, " said Stevens who added that additional tests were performed and the knee remains structurally sound. "But he's going to be managing and dealing with it, as he has all year. It's unfortunate but it doesn't sound as if it's long-term or anything like that."

The Celtics' trip continues with games Sunday afternoon against the Lakers in Los Angeles and a back-to-back in Portland and Utah on Tuesday and Wednesday night.