Smart travels with C's, expected out until after All-Star Break originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Marcus Smart has been out of the Boston Celtics lineup since the beginning of February while dealing with a calf strain. And on Sunday, C's fans got an update on his condition and when he might return to action.
Smart is traveling with the team on their three-game road trip and was seen getting up some shots ahead of the team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Coach Brad Stevens acknowledged that and confirmed that Smart has been practicing with the C's in recent weeks.
"I mean, he's been doing that. He's been going at a decent rate the last few days," Stevens said to reporters on Sunday. "I don't know what that means for the rest of the trip or what he's going to be allowed to do tomorrow if we decide to go with a small practice, but he is on the trip."
Though Smart appears to be trending in the right direction, it looks like he will still be out for some time. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Smart is aiming to return ahead of the second half of the NBA season, which will begin sometime after the league's March 5-10 All-Star break.
As Smart continues to rehab his left calf, he will miss at least the Celtics' next seven games, including Sunday's contest against the Pelicans.
That's certainly discouraging news. With Smart on the trip and the latter end of his 2-3 week recovery timeline arriving, there was some hope that he might be able to return to action during this three-game stretch. But alas, the C's will have to continue to wait for him.
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Smart is averaging 13.1 points, 6.1 assists, and 2.8 rebounds on the season and without him on defense, the Celtics have looked lost at times. They hold a record of just 5-6 and are allowing 1.3 more points per game when Smart has been out of the lineup.
With Smart's absence set to continue, the Celtics will continue to rely on rookies Payton Pritchard and Aaron Nesmith to bring the energy off the bench and help replace Smart's impact.