MEMPHIS – “Yes. I will be playing Friday. That’s the plan. God forbid anything crazy happens. I’m on there Friday and 25th. I’ll be out there.”

Words Grizzly fans have been waiting to hear since training camp began.

With Opening night now just eight days away, newcomer Marcus Smart is ready to make his Grizzlies debut Friday night when the Grizz close the preseason in Milwaukee against the Bucks.

More important than that, Smart says he’ll be full go next Wednesday when the Grizzlies open the season against the New Orleans Pelicans at FedExForum.

Smart has been sidelined with an oblique issue suffered early in camp, missing out on opportunities to work with his new teammates. But Tuesday, Smart was back at practice and feeling good. Actually feeling better than good.

“Feel great. Feel real great. Today was the first day back. Got through a full practice with no issues. That’s a good sign for me and this team,” Smart said. “Players just keeping me involved, keeping me in the loop with everything, has been awesome. So I’m just glad to be back out there with those guys and get going with them.”

Smart also knows what it takes to get his body ready for the start of the season.

“I’ve been doing this going to ten years, ten years now, so for me, I know what it takes to get myself going, how long it takes. So I’ll be ready. I’ll play in the first game and in the preseason game.”