Celtics’ Smart (thumb) progressing toward return

Marcus Smart of the Celtics is progressing toward a possible return from right thumb surgery, according to Boston coach Brad Stevens.

The Boston Celtics may be close to getting one of their walking wounded back.

Marcus Smart, who had surgery on his right thumb and has been out of commission since March 12, will be re-evaluated next week, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters Saturday.

“He’s doing everything in a workout that you can do,” Stevens said. “It’s just a matter of being cleared for live play.”

Stevens said Boston intends to get Smart back onto the court as soon as the team’s medical staff clears him for full contact.

The Celtics lead the Milwaukee Bucks in their first-round series, 2-1, with Game 4 set for Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee.

“It’s going well,” Smart told the Boston Globe. “I’m trying to stay in shape. Today was the first day with the new splint on to actually get out here and do something. So the thumb felt well. And like I said, we’re on track for the next three weeks, possibly Game 7 of the first round, definitely second round. So we’re on the right path.”

Smart has been participating in workouts with Celtics coaches, but is not permitted to do anything competitive until he receives medical clearance. The Boston medical staff is focusing on limiting the risk that his thumb will be re-injured once he returns to the court.

“I think it’s just a matter of you have to have that post-surgery healed enough to be able to take a hit even with a brace on it,” Stevens added. “That’s the holdup.”

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