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Celtics center Robert Williams undergoes knee surgery, will miss training camp

Celtics center will undergo surgery on his left knee for the second time this year and is likely to miss all of training camp and the NBA preseason, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The decision for Williams to go under the knife again came after the center experienced discomfort in his knee as he ramped up activity for the opening of next week’s training camp, according to The Athletics’ Jared Weiss.

Williams previously tore the meniscus in that knee in March. He was held out almost a month before returning for Game 3 of the Celtics’ first round sweep of the Nets. Williams battled soreness and fluid buildup throughout the postseason run.

According to Wojnarowski, the second surgery will keep him off the floor for four to six weeks, the same timeframe originally given for his initial March surgery.

Williams emerged as one of the NBA’s top young defenders last season. Playing a free-safety role for the Celtics as their last line of defense in the paint, Williams landed on the league’s All-Defensive second team and finished seventh in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Williams’ absence leaves the Celtics with a dearth of front court depth. Combo big Al Horford and forward Grant Williams are the only two healthy bigs that saw consistent minutes last season. Entering his third year with the Celtics, 27-year-old center Luke Kornet could soon see a massive uptick in his minutes. Boston also signed Mfiondu Kabengele to a two-way contract and veterans Bruno Caboclo and Noah Vonleh to training camp deals.

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