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Report: J.R. Smith (thumb) cleared to travel with Cavs

Tonight, the Cleveland Cavaliers begin a three-game road trip in Boston against the Celtics inside TD Garden at 8:00 p.m. EST.

The Cavs have been dealing with quite a few injuries this season, including Kevin Love’s knee and J.R. Smith’s fractured thumb. Both are on track for a return before the start of this year’s playoffs.

Smith, who underwent thumb surgery on December 23rd for the aforementioned thumb injury, has been seen working out with his teammates on the court prior to their last two games. Today, Joe Vardon of cleveland.com reports that Smith has been cleared to travel with the team.

“Swish,” as Smith is affectionately known, was seen getting up shots in Boston this morning.

Smith was originally slated to miss 12-14 weeks. When he is able to return to action- hopefully by the middle of March- it’s likely his minutes will be limited at first. Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver have been filling the void that was created when Smith’s injury occurred.

According to rotoworld.com, Cavs GM David Griffin says that Smith is “slightly ahead of schedule” with regards to his projected recovery time. If Smith is in fact ahead of schedule, Cavs fans could see him on the floor mid-to-late March. A source close to the team tells cleveland.com that Smith travelling with the team is just another part of his rehab process.

“It’s always great to have a familiar face around,” LeBron James said as Smith practiced three-point shots in Boston this morning.

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