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UPDATE: Marcus Smart out vs. 76ers in health and safety protocols

The Celtics point guard missed Wednesday’s game with a thigh contusion, too.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Ime Udoka could have his full complement of players and a chance to go above .500 in Philadelphia tonight. Maybe.

On Thursday’s injury report, the lone name listed was Marcus Smart. It wasn’t for the thigh contusion that kept him out of Boston’s win in Indiana Wednesday night. The Celtics starting point guard is listed as questionable in the league’s health and safety protocols.

The “questionable” tag suggests that either Smart returned conflicting tests or is being held out for close contact tracing. Smart is having a down year, averaging 11.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists this season, but Boston is just 1-3 in games without Smart.

In his stead, Udoka will most likely again start Dennis Schroder in Smart’s place. Against the Pacers, Schroder had one of his best games in green with 23 points including 4 for 5 from behind the arc. Payton Pritchard came out of COVID quarantine and soaked up over 11 minutes as the backup point guard in his return.

UPDATE:

Under the league’s new COVID protocols, it’s possible that Smart could return in as quickly as six days. If he tested positive yesterday and is asymptomatic, we could see him back in Boston to catch the tail end of the Celtics’ four-game homestand and against the visiting Hornets next Wednesday or Trail Blazers next Friday.