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Marcus Smart (thumb) questionable for Game 5 vs Bucks

Smart could be back earlier than expected

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of a crucial Game 5 showdown at home against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics upgraded Marcus Smart to questionable.

Smart had surgery on to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb after a March 11th game against the Indiana Pacers. His timeline had him returning to basketball action within 6-8 weeks, which placed him back around the end of the first round of the playoffs.

Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens said that Smart was scheduled to meet with a doctor on Tuesday morning to see if he could get cleared for full-contact basketball activities. Stevens told reporters that once he is cleared for contact, he is cleared by the team to return to game action.

The Celtics fell to the Bucks in Games 3 and 4 on the road, tying the series as it shifts back to Boston for a pivotal Game 5. Boston was expecting to get Smart back for at least a Game 7 in this series, but it appears there is a possibility he returns before that.

The Celtics and Bucks tip off Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST as the Celtics look to regain their series lead, hopefully with one of their best defenders back on the floor.

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