BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics currently look more like a G-League team than one competing for an NBA title, but one of their walking wounded is confident he’ll be back when it matters most.
Marcus Smart underwent surgery on his right thumb a week ago after suffering a complete UCL tear in his hand, but the Celtics guard is extremely optimistic that he’ll be back for the playoffs. Smart hosted his annual bowling event for his YounGameChanger Foundation in King’s in Boston on Monday night, and although his right hand was completely wrapped up and kept him from rolling any frames, he has little doubt that he’ll be back in Boston’s lineup for the postseason.
“I am confident,” Smart said on Monday. “I had one of the top doctors [perform the surgery]. The surgery was a success. Like she told me, ‘you might as well go on and get it now. The quicker you can get it, the quicker the recovery.’ I’m real, real, real excited and eager to get back out there, whenever that is, hopefully it’s sooner than later.”
Smart suffered the injury back on March 11 after hitting the floor hard while diving for a loose ball. He initially thought he sprained the hand, and had hoped he would be back on the court after some rest. He got a second opinion on the injury, and doctors told him that if he kept playing, he risked making things worse.
While he believes he’ll be back for the playoffs, which are less than a month away, Smart said he won’t rush his recovery.
“I’m just going to attack this rehab, this rehab process like I have in the past and try to come back as strong as possible,” he said.
The Celtics could certainly use Smart and his bulldog mentality on both ends of the floor right now. They are also without Kyrie Irving (knee) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) for the short-term, and the Boston bench took a big hit with center Daniel Theis undergoing season-ending knee surgery last week. The Celtics currently sit five games back of the Toronto Raptors for the No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, and six games ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the two-seed heading into Tuesday night’s tilt against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Boston.