Walker out until January after stem cell injection in knee

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By TD Bank

The Boston Celtics will begin the 2020-21 season without their starting point guard.

Kemba Walker has been placed on a 12-week strengthening program after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee in October, the team announced Tuesday morning.

Walker is expected to return to on-court activities in early December, per the Celtics, and will be re-evaluated around the first week of January.

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The 30-year-old point guard consulted with multiple doctors this offseason to ensure no surgery was needed, and the team put him on the three-month strengthening plan expecting a January start to the new season, according to our Celtics Insider, Chris Forsberg.

When the NBA moved the new season's start date up to Dec. 22, the team elected not rush him back, and he could miss first month of games while on the rehab plan.

That means recently-signed veteran Jeff Teague likely will be Boston's starting point guard out of the gate. The 32-year-old averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 assists over 59 games last season and at least should be a stabilizing force at the position until Walker returns.

Walker's knee obviously is cause for concern after he missed 16 games last season due to the ailment, but the Celtics will bank on Teague and rookie Payton Pritchard to fill his void as they exercise caution with the All-Star guard.


In addition to the Walker update, the C's also shared injury developments involving Romeo Langford and Tristan Thompson: Langford is expected to be out until January or February as he recovers from wrist surgery, while Thompson will be limited this week in training camp after suffering a mild hamstring strain during a workout before he arrived in Boston.