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Robert Williams ready to attack his rehab, get back to being a force for Celtics

New Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla says building relationships are key
New Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla says building relationships are key 01:25

BOSTON  -- Robert Williams won't be hitting the floor for the Celtics for a few more months. But the big man was pretty happy to be back with his teammates at Monday's Media Day in Canton.

Williams is set to miss 8-12 weeks after he underwent surgery on his left knee last week. That's the same knee that Williams had surgery on last year, which cost him the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs.

This time around, the surgery will keep him out of the start of the season. Boston fans and Williams himself hope that the procedure means he'll be at his best and most impactful when the season gets really important in the later months and in the postseason. 

Williams said these issues are a recurring problem from last year's injury.

"I was playing on it last year, and there were instances where I had to give it time during the summer to rest. I just felt like I never got back to what it was, is the bottom line," he explained Monday. 

Williams admitted that the injury took a toll on him mentally, but he's ready to set his sights on playing basketball again.

"I want to be there, but all I can focus on is this rehab and getting back on the court. That's what I'm ready for," he said.

He said that Monday was one of his "better days" during the recovery process, mainly because he was back around the team. 

"Just realizing the trust I have in this team with my rehab process and the processes I've been through with them a couple times, I'm feeling good today," he said. "Seeing all the guys together and stuff. It's a battle. It's tough. But I'm here for it and I'm ready to get back out there."

The Celtics will certainly miss Williams and his presence in the paint on both ends of the floor. Defensively, the man is an imposing figure that can swat just about any shot out of the gym. Williams averaged a career-best 2.2 blocks per game last year, and completely changed the team's defensive dynamic when he was given the green light to hunt out those rejections.

Offensively, he's a bouncy safety net for anyone else on the floor, always just an easy feed away from throwing down an energetic alley-oop. Williams averaged a career-high 10.0 points over his 61 regular season games.

If he can stay healthy after returning from this latest surgery, Williams had a chance to be even more dominant -- and important -- for the Celtics in his fifth NBA season.

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