Marcus Smart says there’s a ‘strong likelihood’ he’ll play in Game 3

“When I come back, I’m coming back to be me."

Jim Davis/Globe Staff
Marcus Smart missed Game 2 of the Celtics-Bucks series with a quad injury.

Celtics guard Marcus Smart went one stop further than the team’s president of basketball operations Brad Stevens Thursday, telling reporters there’s a “strong likelihood” he’ll be available for Celtics-Bucks Game 3 Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee.

Smart, who was sidelined for the Celtics’ Game 2 win Tuesday with a right quad contusion, talked about his recovery on Thursday.

“We’re just dealing with the last part of it, and that’s getting that restriction off the knee and the joint,” Smart said. “So I feel once that goes away, I should be back to myself, because everything else is healing up the right way and that’s the last part, so just got to deal with it.”


Smart said fluid above his knee has been limiting his movement, but he’s hopeful that treatment and rest in between games will alleviate that.

“If I’m out there, I should be able to do the things I was doing, or I shouldn’t be out there,” Smart said. “When I come back, I’m coming back to be me, and that’s all I can really say about that.”

Stevens said Thursday morning on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” show that he watched Smart work out Wednesday and was “hopeful, but not certain,” Smart would play Saturday.

“It looked like he had a little bit better bend,” Stevens said. “That was the thing. He had enough swelling in his quad that he didn’t have an ideal ability to really get low and bend that knee. It looked like he was doing a little bit better.”

The Celtics have three days off between Games 2 and 3, giving Smart more time than usual to recover. Coach Ime Udoka also sounded optimistic about Smart during his radio interview.

“He’s feeling better every day,” Udoka said. “These three days have been big for him. We’re anticipating that he’ll be good to go for Game 3.”



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