The Boston Celtics have officially ruled out star point guard Kemba Walker for their Monday night game at home against the Sacramento Kings, the team announced Monday afternoon.
Centre Daniel Theis – who’s been excellent this year after the departure of Aron Baynes – has also been ruled out with an undisclosed illness.
The Celtics will be running with a starting lineup of Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Semi Ojeleye and Enes Kanter.
Walker was taken to hospital on Friday after colliding with Ojeleye during the Celtics’ loss to the Nuggets in Denver. He remained on the floor for several minutes after the collision, and play stopped for several minutes of gametime as he was attended to by medical staff. Eventually Walker was taken from the floor on a stretcher, and was officially listed as doubtful in the aftermath – surprising given how serious the injury looked.
Initially, team doctor Tony Schena had told reporters Walker had concussion-like symptoms, and he went through the concussion protocol.
“When he landed, he had numbness and tingling in his hands,” Schenna said. “He never lost consciousness, and he stayed on the floor mostly as a medical precaution.”
Walker had spine and neck imaging after the game which showed no major structural damage. He then passed a spine evaluation in Boston and a full cognitive review over the weekend also came up clear.
To fully clear the concussion protocol, all Walker needs to do is practice tomorrow. He had played in 158 consecutive NBA games prior to tonight.