Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart says he expects to return to the lineup on March 11 against the Brooklyn Nets, barring any setbacks.
“They cleared me, and said if today went well, I’m probably most likely going to play tomorrow unless something changes,” said Smart.
He did also note that he’ll “definitely” be on a minutes restriction when he returns.
Smart returned to practice on Wednesday and participated in 5-on-5.
“It felt great. Today was the first day playing five-on-five and with full contact,” he said.
Smart has been out since Jan. 30 after suffering a left calf strain.
The 27-year-old is averaging 13.1 points (career-high), 2.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists (career-high) and 1.8 steals (career-high).
The Celtics went 9-9 in Smart’s absence and he will be a welcome addition back in the lineup.
Smart acknowledged that it was difficult to watch the team struggle defensively, as he knows that as a defensive-minded player, he needs to bring energy and effort to help the team.
“I just want us to forget about that first half,” said Smart. “We have an opportunity to come out and start fresh. We can reinvent ourselves on the defensive end. I just want guys to play with the same intensity I do on that end.”