How Celtics have managed Robert Williams’ knee injury during playoffs

It’s been a difficult postseason for Robert Williams.

The Boston Celtics big man struggled with a nagging knee injury during the playoffs after undergoing surgery on a torn left meniscus in March. He has been listed as questionable on every injury report since returning to the C lineup for Game 3 of the first round against the Brooklyn Nets.

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When active, Williams was nowhere near 100 percent. While he has still found ways to make a difference on both ends of the floor, the 24-year-old admits he was frustrated with his limitations.

“It’s really getting on my nerves,” Williams told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes. “It’s difficult to deal with. When I’m out there, the adrenaline and the energy take over, so I don’t really think about it during the games, but it certainly bothers me a lot.”

The Celtics have made every effort to keep Williams – an X-factor for the team throughout the 2021-22 season – on the pitch. Williams detailed how far they went to have him available, including draining his knee during the Eastern Conference Finals.

“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.”

“My knee was really drained in the last series. I stopped draining it because I didn’t think there was any point. My knee kept filling up with fluid. So I kind of learned how to use that to be able to play.”

It’s the same routine for Williams heading into Thursday night’s must-win Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The Celtics have again listed him as questionable for the matchup, but it’s hard to believe Williams will miss this match having already been through it all.

“S*** we’re trying to win,” Williams told Yahoo Sports. “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 being responsible for my team. Letting them know I’m here through whatever, and hopefully will be passed the message on to everyone else.”

Game 6 vs. the Golden State Warriors is scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m. ET at the TD Garden.

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