Ime Udoka, Brad Stevens, and Marcus Smart give updates on Smart’s recovery from injury ahead of Game 3 vs. the Bucks

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One of the biggest question marks looming over the next game of the East semis series between the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks is whether injured Celtics point guard Marcus Smart will have healed enough to play in Boston’s road tilt with the Bucks on Saturday night.

The Oklahoma State product exited the Celtics’ Game 1 loss with both a shoulder stinger and a quad bruise, the latter of which in particular kept Smart out of the second installment of the second-round series. Thus, the veteran guard’s availability for Game 3 was a popular topic on Thursday, starting with team president Brad Stevens being asked about it during his weekly appearance on the WEEI “Toucher and Rich” radio show.

“Marcus was in the gym yesterday, on an off day for the rest of our team, and got in some work in the weight room and looked like he (was) a little bit better (than he had) been,” suggested Stevens.

“That was the thing,” explained the Celtics president. “He had enough swelling in his quad that he didn’t have the ideal ability to really get low and bend.”

“That knee looked like he was doing a little bit better yesterday. I don’t know what he’s going to be cleared to do in practice today, but we’ll see as the days go on — we’re hopeful but not certain.”

This perspective was for the most part echoed by Boston head coach Ime Udoka after the team’s practice on Thursday, who said Smart is “getting better. He’s getting some work in right now.”

“We’ll know more tomorrow based on how he feels today, but he looks better today than he did just moving around, and walking around the last few days when he couldn’t go and so we’ll know more tomorrow.”

“I don’t think he’s restricted in every movement,” added the Celtics coach.

“Some side to side, going through (and) getting shots up and all that. But it looks like (he’s still affected) more if you really tried to get out and go and sprint in certain actions. That might be more restricted than any other typical basketball movement.”

“He’s doing more on the court today than he did yesterday, and not playing the game but we’ll know more tomorrow about how he reacts to what he did today,” explained Udoka.

The man himself also spoke with the press after practice and touched on how he was healing up ahead of Game 3. “Some of the swelling has gone down, still dealing with some,” he offered. “So, taking it day by day.”

“It’s just the quad where I got hit was closer to the knee area in the quad, so a lot of fluid went to the knee and the restriction of it. So, just trying to get the fluid off of there, and get the quad … the way that it was. Really just taking it day by day, the staff has done a great job on the treatment and exercises to help strengthen the quad and get the blood flowing.”

“We just tested it today on the court, it felt okay,” said Smart. “I’m a little sore still, I still have some fluid, so it’s still restricting my movement a little bit.”

Smart emphasized that the medical staff are “doing everything that they can” as is he to get back on the court for Game 3 on Saturday in Milwaukee.

From the sounds of things and knowing the Flower Mound native’s intensely competitive nature, we would be surprised if Smart did not try to play in Boston’s next game.

Whether he will actually heal enough in time to do so remains to be seen, however.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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