Coach Brad Stevens has finally gotten to the point where he is no longer “watching and re-watching” video from the Celtics’ Game 7 elimination by Cleveland 22 days ago.

The medical reports on Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving are good. Both players, Stevens said in an extensive interview with the Herald on Monday, should be ready for regular basketball activity once players begin returning for pickup games in August. But purely by reflex, Stevens is still on alert over the return of his two surgically repaired stars. He listened to part of Irving’s description of the severity of his knee problems on The Bill Simmons Podcast, and feels the chill as much as anyone over exactly how dangerous that knee infection became.

Stevens plans to take his family away later in the summer, though draft and other team matters have kept him close since the end of the season. He’s started to toy with thoughts of all the combinations he’ll have at his disposal next fall.

But he knows that in Danny Ainge’s world, change is always one last-minute call away. And with one of his most valuable players, Marcus Smart, on the cusp of restricted free agency, Stevens wants his emotional leader back more than ever.

At least Stevens knows that he doesn’t have to lobby Ainge on Smart’s behalf.

“You don’t have to do that with Danny,” said Stevens. “Danny likes Marcus a lot. We all believe in everything he brings to the table. His competitive spirit is contagious, infectious.

“That’s hard to quantify and it’s hard for people to realize when you go down a list of statistics. This might be a great example of how do you measure that, right? Those certain intangibles you can’t even put into words – you have to see it, and you kind of have to feel it.”

Stevens backed that up with Smart’s return during the playoffs’ opening round.

“The greatest example from this year was Game 5 against Milwaukee when he checked in and the whole series flipped,” said Stevens. “That one play, where he dove in front of our bench, and we missed the 3, but still it was like, ‘Oh, look who’s back,’ and it has a contagious effect on your team.”

Asked if Smart is the most unique player he’s coached, Stevens smiled and said, “No. I’ve had a few of those guys. He is the most advanced – relative to the level, yes, in the NBA – but he is the most advanced defensive mind as far as all the little things and reading the game and instincts, that I’ve seen coming out of the draft, certainly.

“Everybody has their own roles, but you hope everybody raises the energy level, and that’s a really hard quality to find in somebody.”

And as the Celtics decide whether to match the offers that will come in for Smart, it will be with the knowledge they already have a player with that hard-to-find quality on their roster.

“Everybody in the building would tell you we would love to have Marcus back,” said Stevens. “Marcus has been great here – a big part of our DNA when you look at what we want to bring to the table competitively every night. He makes guys better on both ends of the floor, he covers up for guys on defense. As high a level defender entering the league as I’ve ever seen. He’s going to keep getting better, and you want guys like that around. We’ll see how it all plays itself out.”

Irving’s two surgeries – first to have a wire removed from his knee dating back to patellar surgery in 2015, and then to have the screws removed when traces of bacteria were discovered on the wire – also appear close to resolution.

Or so Stevens hopes. Asked about the “dangerous” situation Irving described during the Simmons podcast, Stevens said, “Any time you’re talking about infection in bone, that’s real. We were kept very in tune by all of the doctors, and once the decision was made by Kyrie and the doctors, it made a lot of sense to remove the screws. Nobody wants to hear the word infection. Right away, that had to be taken care of, no doubt.

“When we started the season, we were well-aware of the surgery, the hardware in his knee, and we knew we were going to have to manage that appropriately from a practice standpoint – two days on, one day off,” he said. “We had to manage it in games – all of that as the season started. He was doing that really well, and then that wire started irritating him.

“When they removed the screws to make sure he was good from an infection standpoint, he had to take antibiotics and all those things, it was tough. Really tough,” he said. “We were on the West Coast trip when he made that call. The threat of infection in that area is real, and the screws had to be removed immediately. He was really down – really down.”

But for Stevens, thoughts of a system featuring both players will soon take shape again.

“I’ve been told they’ll both be going, if not full tilt, then pretty close to full tilt by the end of July, so August first-ish,” said Stevens. “Probably won’t be playing five-on-five at that time, but will be real close. When guys start playing pickup games, they’ll be in that mix, if they continue on the path they’re on, but there’s no indication they wouldn’t.

“Kyrie came through earlier this week, said he’s feeling fine, and shot and did some things here. But he’s not ready to compete yet – that’s still a ways away. The second surgery for Gordon went great, and he’s here getting treatment every day. Will be cleared to do all he was doing by the middle of July.”