WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics seemed to set an aggressive return timeline when they suggested that rookie Marcus Smart might only miss 2-3 weeks while rehabbing from a sprained ankle and bone bruise suffered in Friday's win over the Indiana Pacers. But they might have taken into account the 20-year-old's drive to get back on the floor.
Smart reported for treatment at the team's practice facility three times on Sunday as he navigates the early stages of his rehab from an injury that looked much more daunting when he crumpled to the floor after stepping awkwardly on the foot of Indiana's Lavoy Allen.
"Marcus looks great," said Stevens. "I saw Marcus [on Sunday], he was in for treatment three times. He’s been in for treatment already today. He looks better than [Sunday]; better than the day before. It’s progressing the way it’s supposed to."
Stevens was asked again if he thought the team dodged a bullet considering the team projects that Smart could return before the end of the month.
"Yeah, I mean, when you first saw it you think, 'Wow, it could be longer than three weeks,'" said Stevens. "He’s gotta heal well and continue to do his treatment. If he does his treatment diligently, he’ll be back sooner rather than later. Because [the medical staff] really work[s] hard to get these guys back. I anticipate him being back; he’s a pretty diligent kid. He works pretty hard at it."
A couple other notes on injuries/absences/returns from Monday's practice:
• Rondo reevaluation: Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, who missed Saturday's game in Chicago while having screws removed from his surgically repaired left hand, was scheduled to meet with team physician Dr. Brian McKeon on Monday to gauge his progress from the minor procedure. The Celtics expected Rondo back at practice on Tuesday and available for Wednesday's visit from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Said Stevens: "Every indication is that he should be good to go on Wednesday."
• Young heads home for family illness: Rookie swingman James Young returned home Sunday due to an illness is his family. Stevens said he wasn't sure when the 17th overall pick would rejoin the team. "We’ll just play it by ear with whatever he needs to do with his family," said Stevens.
• Flu-less Faverani at facility: Vitor Faverani, who returned to the team last week but hasn't been spotted around the team, was said to be at the facility on Monday. Stevens noted, "Nothing new [on Faverani]. Vitor had the flu... but he’s back in the practice facility, back doing his rehab, and there’s no update as far as any concrete practice time." Faverani is still rehabbing from a second surgery on a balky knee.
• Powell back with Boston: One day after being assigned to the Maine Red Claws of the D-League to participate in an intrasquad scrimmage, rookie Dwight Powell was back in Boston for the team's afternoon practice. Powell scored 29 points to highlight the scrimmage and noted, "It was a great experience, first and foremost. It’s always great to compete and get on the court with time and score, 5-on-5, full-court. It was fun to compete again."