Marcus Smart To Return For Celtics, Update Provided On Injured Ankle

Smart anticipates needing to miss games in the future

by

November 21

Marcus Smart is set to rejoin the Boston Celtics for their matchup with the Chicago Bulls on Monday, but it reportedly won’t be a full-time return.

Smart suffered an ankle injury in Boston’s victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 14 that has led to him missing each of the Celtics’ last two contests, first against the Atlanta Hawks and then against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla provided an update on Smart prior to the Pelicans game, saying the swelling in the veteran’s ankle was preventing him from making a return. Apparently, the swelling has gone down enough for Smart to finally make a return Monday.

“Marcus Smart said he’s playing tonight,” Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe tweeted Monday. “but anticipates having to miss games occasionally during the remainder of the season to minimize ankle swelling. Said he had an MRI that just showed a ‘really bad bone bruise’ but no structural issue.”

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The news is both good and bad for Boston, who would obviously love to see their point guard back at full strength, but have been rolling to start the season no matter who plays the point in their starting unit. Derrick White has been a formidable filler, combining to average 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 12 games as a starter with the Celtics this season. Those numbers have ballooned to 21 points, four rebounds and 5.5 assists per game in Smart’s absence. Without Smart, the Celtics also have the luxury of still having a competent guard to run their bench unit, with Malcolm Brogdon returning from an injury of his own Friday.

Payton Pritchard has also worked his way into some rotation minutes with his surprising new play style.

Boston will look to improve its winning streak to 10 games with a victory over the Bulls on Monday. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports
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