WALTHAM – Positive news came out of the Celtics practice facility on Monday regarding the health statuses of both Marcus Smart and Rajon Rondo.
Smart suffered a left ankle sprain and bone bruise during Friday’s win over the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Smart experienced severe swelling over the weekend, but Brad Stevens told reporters on Monday that the rookie has progressed well in his rehab thus far.
“Marcus looks great,” Stevens said. “I saw Marcus yesterday. He was in for treatment three times. He’s been in for treatment already today. He looks better than yesterday and better than the day before. [The healing] is progressing the way it’s supposed to.”
Smart is expected to sit out 2 to 3 weeks due to his injuries. That projected timetable is a pleasant surprise given the amount of pain Smart appeared to be in when he suffered the injury. The 20-year-old had to be taken off the court in a stretcher after remaining down under the basket for several minutes.
Stevens believes the Celtics dodged a bullet with Smart’s prognosis and is hopeful the young guard may be back sooner than anticipated.
“Obviously when you first saw it, you think it could be longer than three weeks,” Stevens admitted. “He’s got to heal well and continue to do his treatment. If he does his treatment diligently, he’ll be back sooner rather than later. [Our training staff] really works hard to get these guys back. I anticipate him being back [within the recovery timetable]. He’s a pretty diligent kid and works pretty hard at it.”
Rondo is also expected to make his return to the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The veteran sat out Saturday’s game after having a screw removed from his surgical repaired left hand. The minor procedure typically takes a few days to recover from, but Rondo is aiming to return to practice Tuesday.
“He’s going to see [team doctor] Brian McKeon again today. We’ll have some more information then, but every indication is that he’ll be ready to go for Wednesday,” Stevens said.
ODDS AND ENDS
–James Young is not with the team for practice today due to an illness in his family. He is expected to return to Boston before Wednesday’s game.
–Vitor Faverani has still not been cleared for on-court action after undergoing knee surgery last month. He continues rehabilitation at the team’s practice facility after returning from Spain last week.
–Celtics rookie Dwight Powell was recalled from the Maine Red Claws after taking part in an intersquad scrimmage over the weekend.