Celtics guard Smart says his 'pain level is going down’
Marcus Smart is working his way towards returning to the court for the Boston Celtics.
The 25-year-old guard, who suffered an oblique injury late in the regular season and has not played in the playoffs, participated in some one-on-one drills that involved contact at Celtics' practice on Thursday, according to NBC Sports Boston.
"Today was a great day," Smart said. "I was able to do some things, more and more. This is the next step, the next process to getting me back on the court to be able to do simple things like basketball activities such as driving to the rim and really moving."
Smart, however, said there was still no firm timetable for his return.
"We're taking it day-by-day," Smart said. "Unfortunately, there's nothing really you can do. One day it might feel good, one day it might not. So, you've got to take it day-by-day and take it slow.
"Pain level is going down. The breathing is getting better. It's not as sore, so that's even better. Mild contact, in the fact I get bumped, like just walking down the street, two weeks ago that was excruciating pain for me. This week it is better."
Smart finished the regular season averaging 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and four assists. He shot 42.2 per cent from the field and 36.4 per cent from three-point range.
Smart tore his oblique in mid-April and was originally expected to be out four to six weeks. He said late last month the rehab process had been difficult.
"It's tough, tough from that standpoint because our whole lives we've been taught to fight through pain, to fight through injuries, to fight through anything, adversity, obstacles," Smart said, via MassLive.com. "You get on that court you're taught to go, go, go. You know the old saying, you're going to feel better than you really are soon.
"Sometimes your mind actually forgets that you're hurting, and you try to do things. You have to remind yourself, slow it down, take it easy, and that's the hard part because you want to go, go, go but you can't."
The Celtics have split the first two games of their second-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks. Game 3 is on Friday.