BOSTON — Marcus Smart will be back in the Boston Celtics’ lineup Wednesday night. Just not in his usual role.
The Celtics point guard is expected to play against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden after missing the team’s previous three games with a sprained left big toe, head coach Brad Stevens confirmed before Wednesday’s game. Yet Stevens added he plans to limit Smart’s minutes and likely will bring him off the bench.
Smart said he first felt the injury crop up last Tuesday after Boston’s practice. He’s been rehabbing ever since and said before Wednesday’s game he could have played Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks but didn’t want to push it this early in the season.
The 21-year-old admitted his toe isn’t fully healed but insisted he won’t be limited once he steps on the floor.
“(It’s) not 100 percent,” Smart said, “but it feels good enough for me to get out there and play, move around, jump and do all the things that I was doing before.
“The more I try to worry about my toe, that’s when it becomes a problem. So just kind of throw it out and just play. I feel once the adrenaline gets going, I won’t even think about it.”
Smart confirmed the team has given him a set minutes limit, but that could change considering the Celtics will be without guard Avery Bradley, who left Tuesday’s game in the first half with a left leg injury.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger (7) and guard Marcus Smart (36) speak during the first half of a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Verizon Wireless Arena.