Boston Celtics

With Marcus Smart cleared to play on Friday night against the Pistons, the Celtics are getting healthy as they gear up for the final stretch of the regular season.

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, Smart has officially been cleared to practice on Wednesday and play as soon as Friday in Detroit. The point guard reportedly was in Boston for a private workout with the team on Tuesday.

Smart appears fully recovered from a laceration on his right hand, suffered on Jan. 24 when he swiped at a picture frame in the Celtics’ team hotel.

Marcus Smart reacts after a three-point basket against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden on November 5, 2014. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

Perfect Timing?

The Celtics were already struggling before Smart’s injury, but they have certainly suffered on defense in his absence. Smart also blamed himself for the team’s lack of effort on that end of the court. The Celtics typically rely on him to bring exactly that.

Smart returns at the right time for the Celtics, as they come out of the All-Star break (hopefully) refreshed and refocused. Head coach Brad Stevens preached a sense of urgency when he spoke to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Wednesday.

They’ll need it as they approach the next eight weeks, which will feature a dense schedule and some of the toughest competition in the league.

With three losses in their last four games heading into the All-Star break, the hope is that Smart’s return provides something of a spark. It’s fair to expect him to at least bring that sense of urgency that Stevens wants.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at