We are quickly approaching the NBA All-Star break, and thus, the return of Marcus Smart.
The Boston Celtics guard has not played since a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 30, when Smart suffered a Grade I tear in his left calf and was ruled out for 2-3 weeks.
Obviously, it’s been much longer than that by now, and it’s been clear that Boston wouldn’t rush the All-Defensive First Teamer back before the All-Star break.
The Celtics miss Smart tremendously, as they’ve amassed a 7-10 record without him, including a narrow loss to the Lakers the night he suffered the injury.
So, with just two games between the Celtics and the exhibition weekend, Brad Stevens provided a bit of an update on Smart’s timeline.
“You know, we haven’t gotten into specifics about when he will be available or not. He’s getting a lot closer,” the Celtics coach said in his pregame availability ahead of Tuesday night’s game against the LA Clippers.
“What does that mean? I don’t know, like, (it) kind of depends probably on how the break goes, you know, and how much he’s able to get in and get in with our people. I think he’s planning on staying here (in Boston during the All-Star break) and doing that. And then you know, how much you can actually do from a live standpoint to gear back up. The good news is in our first few days, you know, I think we’ll practice the Wednesday before we play Brooklyn, and then we got a couple of days before we play again, we’ll probably practice all three of those days, which would be a little bit unusual. But that should give him even more chance to practice. And so anytime after that — and I would assume that he’d probably be more ready than not having any practice time. Now, that said, I don’t know if he’ll be that advanced by the time we get back on the practice court.”
The NBA All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, March 7.