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Celtics’ Marcus Smart Expected Back Around New Year’s Day

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is expected to return from a left leg injury sometime around New Year’s Day, team president Danny Ainge said Thursday morning during a radio appearance (via Jay King of MassLive.com):

“Marcus had a really good day (Wednesday),” Ainge said on the Toucher and Rich show. “He got out on the court for the first time and he’s running around and felt good. Barring any setbacks, I think it’s probably looking closer to the end of this month or the beginning of the new year. He looks good, and we’re excited to get him back soon. But I’m not sure exactly when that is. That’s sort of a day-to-day thing, but I’m looking at it more at the end of this month.”

Smart has been out nearly a month with the injury, and the Celtics have six more games before the calendar turns. Boston’s first two games of the new year are against the Brooklyn Nets, so perhaps the youngster will be ready to go for one of those.

The Celtics have tread water without Smart, and his return will bolster an already strong defense. His offense remains a major work in progress, as he’s shooting just 33.3 percent overall and 23.8 percent from long range.

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