reportedly healed well enough that the veteran has been cleared to play

With Smart sidelined, the C's stumbled their way to the All-Star break. In fact, the team lost their three final games of the first half, giving up the most points they have all season in the final two games.

Smart typically adds intensity and skill to the defensive end, so his inability to be on the court has significantly hurt Boston's defensive effectiveness.

The tenacious guard is returning at a great time, however, giving the C's a real chance to get themselves back on track as they settle in for the stretch run. Boston currently sits two games back, three in the loss column, of the Toronto Raptors for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.