Marcus Smart is out for the remainder of the regular season, but there’s a very good chance he’ll be available at some point in the Boston Celtics’ postseason quest.
The 6-foot-4 guard underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb which is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.
“It’s a tough deal for Marcus,” coach Brad Stevens told reporters prior to tonight’s game. “Marcus has been an incredible player for us all year. He’s meant a lot to us.”
If we’re working from today, that would put Smart’s return to the floor most likely near the end of the first round or early in the second.
While Smart’s statistics don’t jump off the page, there’s no getting around the impact he has made on this team this season.
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After missing several games after punching a picture frame in Los Angeles, the Celtics struggled in his absence. Upon his return right after the All-Star break, the C’s began playing some of their best basketball of the season.
Boston’s Semi Ojeleye is likely to see his role increase as well with Smart out as well as Daniel Theis who recently underwent season-ending surgery on his torn meniscus injury suffered in Boston’s 99-97 loss to Indiana.
Smart appeared in 54 games this season, averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. He has a defensive rating of 99.6 which ranks fifth in the league among players who averaged at least 28 minutes played per game.
Smart hasn’t played since injuring his thumb in Sunday’s game against the Indiana Pacers.
He joins a long list of injured Celtics players, including Gordon Hayward (broken leg), Jaylen Brown (concussion) and Kyrie Irving (knee soreness).
Boston is second in the Eastern Conference at 46-22 and trails the first-place Toronto Raptors by five games.
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