Celtics’ Robert Williams III details playing through knee injury during NBA playoffs: ‘It gets to me a lot’

One thing that can’t be questioned is the toughness of Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III. Williams returned to the postseason for the Celtics in April, just under a month after undergoing meniscus surgery in his left knee. He’s played ever since, despite constant knee pain, to keep his feet on the ground for the Celtics and provide them with a reliable rim presence at either end as they battle for the 2022 NBA title.

Williams’ playing time is a bit shorter compared to the regular season — he played 22.6 minutes per game in the playoffs, compared to 29.6 during the regular season — but he could still make an impact, and he’s a big part of the reason why the Celtics were able to advance so far. In his last three games, he’s averaged 10 rebounds per game while serving as a major deterrent to drivers in the Golden State.

“I honestly take it on a day-to-day basis,” Williams said of Chris Haynes about his health. “I can feel good right now, and then it hurts pretty bad for the next few hours. I try to take it as often as possible every day. It gets on my nerves a lot. It’s hard to deal with. When I’m out there, the adrenaline and the energy take over, so I don’t really think about it during games, but it certainly gets on my nerves a lot.”

To be available for his team, Williams repeatedly had his knee drained during the playoffs, although he stopped doing it because the knee kept filling up with fluid that he felt there was “no point” in continuing to have it drained , Williams has also undergone a variety of other treatments. “Icing, deep tissue massages, treatment, wait three or four hours and then start the process over until [it’s time to sleep]’ Williams said. “Usually the same routine. Maybe a little BFR [blood flow restriction training] here and there, but usually the same ritual.”

Boston medical staff have assured Williams that he is in no danger of injuring his repaired knee playing on it, so it’s all just a matter of his ability to endure pain. And while it certainly hasn’t been easy for Williams, he’s tried to set the tone for his team by being available.

“We’re trying to win,” Williams told Yahoo. “It’s crazy. I’m living my dream right now. Of course it would be a lot better if we won, but my whole thing is responsibility for my team. Letting them know I’m through whatever, and hopefully the Message passed to everyone else.”

Only time will tell if Williams’ toughness will be enough to help the Celtics win their first title since 2008, but it’s commendable nonetheless.

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