Marcus Smart injury update: Expected back around New Year’s Day

Prior to last night’s loss to the Detroit Pistons, Brad Stevens was asked about Marcus Smart’s rehab process and his anticipated return.

Smart has been out since November 20th with an injury you don’t see everyday, a subluxation of the left proximal tibiofibular joint. Initial reports had Smart missing about 2-6 weeks, so it appears he’s trending towards the later mark of that estimation.

Danny Ainge was on 98.5 Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich this morning with more news about the Celtics guard. Via Chris Forsberg of

"Marcus had a really good day [Wednesday]," Ainge told the "Toucher and Rich" program during his weekly call to Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub. "He got out on the court for the first time and he’s running around and felt good. Barring any setbacks, I think it’s probably looking closer to the end of this month or the beginning of the new year. He looks good, and we’re excited to get him back soon. But I’m not sure exactly when that is. That’s sort of a day-to-day thing, but I’m looking at it more at the end of this month."

It’s a good sign to hear Marcus Smart is taking steps in the right direction, and we may be able to see him in uniform again before 2016. While the team hasn’t had a significant decline, and Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley have stepped up in his absence, the return of Smart will only improve this team in terms of depth and defensive intensity. Ainge touches more on that in Forsberg’s article:

"Our defense has been good, it’s been pretty good all year, with the exception of maybe right out of the gates, but I think that Marcus just gives us the depth," Ainge said. "You can always get by without any one of your players for a little bit of a time, but it does catch up. Isaiah [Thomas'] and Avery [Bradley's] minutes have increased in Marcus’ absence. Both have had great years, but we need Marcus. We need Marcus’ defense and we need his versatility."

Probably a wise decision, it appears the Celtics will try to ease the guard back into game shape.

Still this early in the season, and still in a position to make the playoffs, there’s no reason to push the sophomore guard back into the lineup and risk any further injury or setbacks. Celtics Nation is ready to welcome Marcus back with open arms!

Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

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