Celtics

Injury updates on Thompson, Walker are a mixed bag for C's

Celtics

Will Tristan Thompson be on the floor Wednesday night for the Boston Celtics' season opener against the Milwaukee Bucks?

We may not know that answer until shortly before tip-off.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens confirmed Thompson practiced again Tuesday as he recovers from a strained hamstring. Stevens is optimistic that the veteran big man can suit up but will leave the decision to his training staff Wednesday.

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"He looked fine today," Stevens told reporters Tuesday regarding Thompson. "I don't know what the plan of attack will be yet for him tomorrow.

" ... Him and the training staff will get together and figure that out, and then they'll tell me. We're hopeful that he will play, but that's still to be determined by them."

Thompson sat out both of Boston's preseason games and said Saturday he doesn't want to rush his return to risk further injury. Big men Robert Williams and Grant Williams would see more minutes alongside Daniel Theis if Thompson can't go Tuesday, but his presence obviously would help against a loaded Bucks squad.

Stevens also shared a less-than-encouraging update on point guard Kemba Walker, who is sidelined until at least January after receiving a stem cell injection in his knee.

 

"Kemba is on the court doing 1-on-1 stuff with a coach," Stevens said. "Still no up-and-down, no cutting, no one else on the basket. So, still a long way away."

While Walker is set to be re-evaluated in the first week of January, it doesn't sound like his return is imminent. Our Chris Forsberg has noted the Celtics put Walker on a three-month strengthening program this offseason expecting a January start to the season, so once Opening Night got pushed up to Dec. 22, it meant the 30-year-old likely would miss more regular-season action than Boston had originally planned.

That means Marcus Smart, veteran Jeff Teague and rookie Payton Pritchard will be called upon to fill Walker's point guard role, and they'll get two tough tests out of the gate in Milwaukee (7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday) and the Brooklyn Nets (5 p.m. ET on Christmas Day).