ICYMI: Exciting Update For Boston Celtics On Injured Big Man

The Boston Celtics are the No. 1 team in the NBA, at 21-5. And they're doing it without their defensive anchor, Robert Williams III. Let that sink in. 

Now comes word that Williams' return could come a tad sooner than expected, as NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reports it could actually come before Christmas. 

Initially, his return date was optimistically pegged as Christmas Day. But that seems to have moved up, according to Woj. "He's made great progress on that offseason surgery. The timeline right now is possibly 10-12 days. But don't rule out the possibility that Robert Williams wakes up one day (sooner) and decides he's ready to return. We (certainly) expect that he'll be back before Christmas." 

That would be one heck of an early Christmas present for Celtics fans. 

In fact, things are looking so positive for Williams' impending return, that the team's president of basketball operations Brad Stevens had a little fun photobombing him as he arrived for practice yesterday.  

Williams is recovering from his second knee surgery this year. It was performed just before training camp, in September, to remove loose bodies and address swelling in his left knee, according to the team. 

Last season, he averaged 10.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 61 games and was named to the NBA's All-Defensive Second Team. 

Photo: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports