Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Marcus Smart awaits clearance to play in Game 6 for Celtics

John Tomase
April 23, 2018 - 12:52 pm
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Help could be on the way for the injury-ravaged Celtics later this week -- guard Marcus Smart hopes to be cleared to rejoin the team to play in Game 6 against the Bucks on Thursday.

Smart is scheduled to visit a doctor in New York on Tuesday for an examination, and if he receives clearance, will rejoin the team one game ahead of schedule. He had surgery on his thumb last month and has been rehabbing ever since.

"I think the thumb, the surgery did its job," Smart told reporters, including the Boston Herald's Mark Murphy, in Milwaukee on Sunday before the Celtics lost Game 4 of their first-round series to the Bucks. "Thumb is holding up well. I feel ready, I feel strong enough to get back out there. I'm just waiting on the OK."

With Smart sidelined, the Celtics have been limited to two point guards against the Bucks -- Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin. After winning the first two games in Boston behind solid games from Rozier, the C's were blown out in Game 3 before dropping a tense Game 4. The series resumes on Tuesday night in Boston for Game 5.

Win or lose, the C's hope Smart returns for Game 6.

"I'm antsy, real antsy, staying in the back, trying to keep myself from going crazy. Just trying to stay in shape," Smart told reporters. "It's the playoffs, so any game around this time is going to make you antsy, especially in an atmosphere like this."

The Celtics could use Smart's toughness, intelligence, and experience against the Bucks, who have gotten strong play out of guards Malcolm Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe the last two games. Smart averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists this year.

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