Marcus Smart Injury: Updates on Celtics Guard's Knee and Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 30: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics defends the ball against the Toronto Raptors during the game on October 30, 2015 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been held out of the lineup since he injured his knee against the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 20. However, he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Smart Active vs. Knicks  

Sunday, Dec. 27

Smart will play on Sunday against New York, announced head coach Brad Stevens, who added, "We'll throw him in and see how it goes. Short stints."

Ainge Comments on Smart's Recovery 

Thursday, Dec. 3

"I've spent a lot of time with Marcus over the last couple of days and he's been working out and doing his therapy," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge stated on the Sports Hub, courtesy of ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg. "I don't know a timetable, you never know, Marcus will be the only one that will know when his leg will be completely healed. But the good news is there's no surgery needed; it's more like a bad sprain and he just needs time to get it healthy. It'd still probably be another few weeks, I'd guess."

Celtics Weren't Lacking in Options to Replace Smart

It was a difficult blow for the Celtics, as Smart is a key contributor in their rotation. He is a solid scorer who can stretch the floor with his three-point shooting and attack the rim with his quickness.

However, he is most valuable as a tenacious perimeter defender. The Oklahoma State product averaged 1.5 steals per game as a rookie and is versatile enough to guard quick point guards or scoring shooting guards, depending on the opponent.

The fortunate thing for Boston is its overall depth, which helped it survive this setback.

Avery Bradley is a three-point threat who is also a formidable perimeter defender. He assumed many of Smart’s defensive responsibilities until the youngster returns. Elsewhere, Isaiah Thomas is a dangerous scorer who provides offensive punch from the outside, and rookie R.J. Hunter can shoot from three-point range.

The Celtics are playoff contenders in the wide-open Eastern Conference largely because of that depth. Still, they need Smart on the court as a potential lockdown defender if they want to fulfill their expectations for the rest of the season.


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