Marcus Smart apparently can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Boston Celtics guard has been out since Dec. 6 with a nasty infection that head coach Brad Stevens said was one of the worst team trainers have ever seen.
Smart returned Monday to practice with the Celtics, though, and sent a tweet that night suggesting the worst was over.
For all of Smart's optimism, Stevens said it's unlikely the 25-year-old guard plays against the Toronto Raptors on Christmas Day, considering he's been essentially laid up over the last three weeks.
"It’s more of a matter of rebuilding up your wind and everything else,” Stevens told reporters Monday, via MassLive.com. “It’s different when you have an injury like Gordon (Hayward) did and work for four straight weeks.
"Now you’ve got Marcus — he just hasn’t been able to see anything."
As for Hayward, who has missed Boston's last three games with a foot injury: Stevens said there's a good chance he returns Wednesday in Toronto.
"I’ll say that he’s pretty close," Stevens said. "Probably, I would guess, he’d be bumped up to probable after (Monday)."
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Raptors, which tips off Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Scal have the call at 12 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.