Celtics 'hopeful' Tristan Thompson will play in opener; Kemba Walker 'still a long way away'


The Celtics head into Wednesday night's season-opener against the Bucks a little banged-up, but it sounds like there is at least a chance they'll have one key piece back in the lineup.

Coach Brad Stevens said Tuesday afternoon that the team is "hopeful" veteran big man Tristan Thompson will be able to play. Thompson has been dealing with a hamstring injury and missed both of Boston's preseason games.

"Tristan went through today. We didn’t do anything live, but he looked fine today," Stevens said. "I don’t know what the plan of attack will be yet for him tomorrow. I think that he and the training staff get together and we figure that out from there. ... We’re hopeful that he will play, but that’s still to be determined by them."

That would be a nice boost for the Celtics, as Thompson, who was signed in free agency this offseason, is expected to be an important contributor this season in a big man rotation that will also include Daniel Theis and Robert Williams.

Stevens also provided an update on point guard Kemba Walker, who isn't expected to play until at least January after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee this offseason.

"Kemba is on the court doing one-on-one stuff with a coach," Stevens said. "Still no up and down, no cutting, no one else on the basket. So, still a long way away."

Tip-off for Celtics-Bucks is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at TD Garden. The Celtics then host the Nets on Christmas Day.

UPDATE: Tristan Thompson is not on the Celtics' Tuesday afternoon injury, indicating he has been cleared to play Wednesday.