Ray Allen will play in Game 3 vs. the Atlanta Hawks

For more than three weeks, the Boston Celtics have been without shooting guard Ray Allen, a stalwart of their lineup for the last four years and still one of the best shooters in the league, as he deals with bone spurs in his ankle. Despite splitting their first two games with the Hawks in Atlanta, they've missed him, shooting a combined 3-for-25 from three-point range in the series. If they want to be a championship contender, Allen is going to have to be a part of the equation.

The good news for the Celtics is that he's ready to play, at least for one game. According to Sean Grande, radio voice of the Celtics on WEEI, Allen will play in Friday night's Game 3 in Boston:

Allen returned from the same injury in early April and played only five games before needing to sit more, so this return is not necessarily permanent. Still, it's an important comeback, especially considering their dire need for outside shooting.

Allen is likely to come off the bench for as long as he's able to suit up in the playoffs, with Avery Bradley manning the starting lineup. It's not yet clear how much we can expect from Allen, but we'll be keeping an eye out and will update you as often as it's relevant.