Report: Celtics’ Smart could return April 27

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and underwent surgery, was re-evaluated Monday in New York and is expected to receive clearance to return to game action on April 27 — according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

Smart has been cleared to start light non-contact shooting. The rugged defender averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 54 games this season for the Celtics and will become a restricted free-agent this summer.

Smart told reporters back in March that he was confident he would return for the playoffs.

“I am confident I’ll be back for the playoffs,” Smart said in March. “I had one of the top hand doctors do it [surgery]. The surgery was a success. Like she told me, you might as well go on and get it now. The quicker you can get it, the quicker the recovery. I’m real, real, real excited and eager to get back out there, whenever that is, hopefully it’s sooner than later, like I said. Hopefully the team can and, like I think they’re gonna do, is handle their business and have me back [in the postseason].”

The Celtics have locked up the second seed in the Eastern Conference.