Celtics guard Marcus Smart will have surgery on his right thumb Friday, but the team is hoping he may be able to return to action during the NBA playoffs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Celtics guard Marcus Smart will undergo surgery on his thumb today, but there's hope he can return sometime in the playoffs, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 16, 2018
Smart sprained his right thumb diving for a loose ball in Sunday’s loss to the Pacers. There was fear tendon or ligament damage could require surgery that would sideline him for the rest of the season. The Celtics tweeted Friday coach Brad Stevens would have news to share about Smart at 5 p.m. — two hours prior to tip-off against the Magic.
Update: Horford is back for tonight. Irving is not expect to play. Coach tells us he will have an announcement on Marcus Smart at 5:00 EST tonight.
— Amanda_Pflugrad (@Amanda_Pflugrad) March 16, 2018
Smart is averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 29.9 minutes this season.
A league source said Tuesday that Smart’s outlook “doesn’t look good.’’ Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge acknowledged surgery could be an option for the fourth-year guard, but said Smart would take a few days to see how the injury responds to treatment. He also said Smart would seek a second opinion from a hand specialist.
“Anything is possible now,’’ Ainge said Tuesday. “I just don’t know yet.’’
Smart will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.
On Jan. 24, Smart needed 20 stitches in his right hand after punching a glass frame in his Los Angeles hotel room. He was sidelined for a month and said after he returned that the doctors who dislodged a large shard of glass said it had barely missed slicing tendons, an injury that would also have required season-ending surgery.
But Smart returned Feb. 23 and had played quite well since then. The career 36 percent shooter had made 43.2 percent of his attempts in eight games, and the Celtics had outscored opponents by 54 points while Smart was on the floor during that time.