Celtics’ Marcus Smart Cleared To Return

Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who has been sidelined since January 30 due to a calf injury, has been cleared to return for Boston’s second-half opener on Thursday in Brooklyn, he said today (Twitter link via Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe).

As long as Smart avoids any setbacks before tomorrow night, he’ll be active vs. the Nets, though the plan is for him to be on a minutes restriction, as Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets.

Prior to his injury, Smart was averaging career highs in points (13.1) and assists (6.1) per game to go along with his usual stout perimeter defense. He started all 17 games he played, though the Celtics were missing Kemba Walker or Jayson Tatum for many of those contests — we’ll have to wait to see if Smart is reinserted into Boston’s starting five.

The 19-17 Celtics had an up-and-down first half, dipping to two games below .500 before winning their last four games leading into the All-Star break. Now that they’re nearly fully healthy for the first time this season, they’ll be looking to make a second-half push and secure a top-four seed in the Eastern Conference.

According to head coach Brad Stevens, Romeo Langford is the only Celtic who is currently unavailable. It sounds as if Langford is ready to return from his wrist injury, but has been placed in the health and safety protocols, as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston tweets.

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