Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he will have his surgically repaired right thumb evaluated by a doctor in New York on Tuesday, and that he could then be cleared for a return to game action. Smart said that if he is cleared, he believes he will able to play in Game 6 against the Bucks on Thursday. “Right now that’s the plan,” Smart said Sunday, before the Celtics’ 104-102 loss in Game 4 of their opening-round series. “We’re still on the same track. I’ve been doing everything but contact, so once I get the [go-ahead] and start doing contact, I’m ready for game action.”
“I think the thumb, the surgery did its job,” he said. “Thumb is holding up well. I feel ready. I feel strong enough to get back out there. I’m just waiting on the OK.” Smart tore a tendon in his right thumb when he was chasing a loose ball during the Celtics’ March 11 game against the Pacers. He underwent surgery a few days later and the Celtics said he was expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.
Tom Westerholm: Smart says the shooting splint feels “real comfortable.” “It feels like nothing’s there."
Gary Washburn: Marcus Smart was at BMO Bradley Center today working out with some of his teammates in an informal session. #Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Smart could return for a potential Game 7 next week.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens on Marcus Smart: He's working on lower body and conditioning as much as he can now. Earlier I've been told he can return is April 27. We are still a ways away from that and a lot of games away from that. Don't know if that timeline holds.
Smart called his torn ligament “fixed,” but said he still needs to rebuild the muscles around his thumb before returning to the court. He didn't entirely rule out a return before Game 7 of the first round, but the current plan calls for another evaluation almost two weeks from now to decide the next step. Smart's return, whenever it comes, would push the Celtics to another level, especially on the defensive end where he gives more teeth to an already fierce bite. With Kyrie Irving set to miss the entire playoff run, the Celtics have a greater need now for Smart's pick-and-roll playmaking, as well.
"Today was the first day with the new splint on to actually get out here and do something. So the thumb felt well," said Smart, who underwent surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament on March 16. "We're on track for [a return in the] next three weeks, possibly Game 7 of the first round, [but] definitely second round. So we're on the right path."
Smart's return would be a needed boost for a young Celtics team. The team set a six- to eight-week timeline after his surgery. "I've got hopes," Smart said. "We're very optimistic. But the last thing we want to do is get out there and rush anything and we're back to square one. So right now the timetable is still the same. Hopefully, over the next couple of weeks, things change and we can move it up earlier."
Marcus Smart could be ready to play in a little more than two weeks. The question is whether the Celtics still will be playing. Celts coach Brad Stevens confirmed an ESPN report that the guard is doing well as he comes back from right thumb surgery. Smart saw a specialist in New York on Monday and returned to Boston to continue his rehab. “I think from everything that I’ve been told, he’ll be re-evaluated middle of next week,” Stevens said. “The April 27 date is the earliest that I’ve heard that he could be back. So we’ll cross our fingers and see.”
Marcus Smart, who has been sidelined since mid-March after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, is reportedly progressing through his post-surgery rehab as well as anyone could have hoped for. According to coach Brad Stevens, the fourth-year guard could be back on the court before the month of April is over. “From everything I’ve been told, he’ll be re-evaluated in the middle of next week,” Stevens told members of the media ahead of shootaround at Georgetown University prior to the Celtics' matchup against the Washington Wizards. “April 27 is the earliest he could be back, so we’ll cross our fingers and see.”
Celtics: #NEBHInjuryReport: Marcus Smart’s hand will be re-evaluated next week, per Brad Stevens. He could possibly return by April 27.
Bill Doyle: Brad Stevens doesn't expect Marcus Smart back anytime soon. "Again, it was six to eight weeks from surgery with a splint before he resumes basketball activities which is a big difference from playing in a playoff game."
Adam Himmelsbach: According to a league source, Celtics guard Marcus Smart is scheduled to have his right thumb reevaluated by doctors next week, at which time an updated timetable for his return could become more clear. As of now, conference semifinals remain the most likely possibility.
Mark Murphy: Stevens not taking it for granted that either Irving or Smart will be back: "There’s a big difference between (basketball activity) and playing, so we don’t know when we’re going to have those guys back."
Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he's confident he'll be back on the court for the postseason after undergoing thumb surgery last week. Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right shooting hand while diving to the floor in a game against the Indiana Pacers earlier this month. A hand specialist in New York advised immediate surgery with hopes that Smart might be able to return even quicker than the six- to eight-week timeline the team announced after surgery. "I am confident [I'll be back for the playoffs]," Smart said Monday night, his right arm completely wrapped, at his annual bowling fundraiser for his YounGameChanger Foundation. "I had one of the top [hand] doctors do it. 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.
Chris Forsberg: Is Marcus Smart confident he’ll be back in playoffs? “I am confident ... I’m real real real excited and eager to get back out there, whenever that is. Hopefully sooner than later.” It was Smart and Hayward working out together today in Waltham. “I got a workout partner.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics Marcus Smart said timetable is 6-8 weeks in thumb. Tore ligaments completely. Was told would be out longer the longer he waited on surgery so that's why he did it as soon as possible to be back for playoffs.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Marcus Smart said he was "scared" when first told of tear that injury would be season-ending, but now confident team will last long enough in playoffs for him to get back.
The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Marcus Smart underwent successful surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. Smart is expected to return to basketball activities in 6 to 8 weeks.
Ben Rohrbach: Danny Ainge to @Toucherandrich: Celtics keeping fingers crossed Marcus Smart’s thumb injury isn’t season-ending. He’s getting a second opinion in New York today.
A. Sherrod Blakely: MARCUS SMART UPDATE: He will meet with a hand specialist in New York City, sources tell @NBCSBoston. The focus is to see if there’s a path that will allow him to play with his thumb injury while minimizing the risk of making it worst.
Smart could potentially require season-ending surgery, but that's not a certainty at this point. During a Wednesday afternoon interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zola & Bertrand, Stevens said the guard's injury situation is more unclear than any of his other hurting teammates. "I would say that at the end of the day, Marcus is going to seek a second opinion, confer with everybody that he's talked to, and make the right decision from there that he's comfortable with, that we're comfortable with, that everybody's comfortable with," Stevens said on the radio show.
One league source said Smart’s outlook “doesn’t look good.” Ainge, meanwhile, acknowledged that surgery could be an option for the fourth-year guard, but said that Smart is hoping to take the next few days to see how the injury responds to treatment. He said Smart will also seek a second opinion from a hand specialist.
Smart, who will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, is prepared to play through pain, but if there is a chance he could further damage his hand then he would not risk it.
Mark Murphy: League source says Celtics don't know probability of Marcus Smart playing again this season. "(They're) waiting for that second opinion. Don't know if it's a 50 percent chance or a 30 percent chance. Just don't know."
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart is being evaluated for a potentially torn right thumb tendon and is seeking multiple opinions, two people with knowledge of the situation told Celtics Wire under the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. Smart will seek a second opinion this week to determine the severity of the tendon damage and whether surgery is needed. Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania was the first to report the potential tear.
Shams Charania: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has suffered a torn tendon in his right thumb, league sources tell Yahoo. He will have second opinions on his thumb and be out indefinitely.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Right thumb injury to Celtics guard Marcus Smart -- for now, called a sprain -- is under scrutiny with medical staff, league sources tell ESPN. Still unclear if Smart can play through it -- or will need to miss time.
Mark Murphy: Team spokesman said Smart expected to miss unspecified amount of time with sprained thumb. Severity of injury still being determined.
Jay King: Marcus Smart is available, as expected. Celtics will stay with the regular starting lineup with Baynes in the middle.
Scott Souza: #Celtics guard Marcus Smart said about a 3-inch shard of glass was pulled out of his hand by doctors after he punched picture frame. Said it was between tendons. If had clipped one, told he would have needed season-ending surgery. Considers himself very fortunate.
A. Sherrod Blakely: According to league sources, #Celtics Marcus Smart was back in town yesterday and had a private workout with the team. He has been officially cleared to practice tonight and play Friday.
Scott Souza: #Celtics Brad Stevens repeated that he stands by his disappointment in Marcus Smart for hand incident, has talked to him about putting teammates in bad spot w/o him for 3 weeks. Then added C's are ready to move on & looking forward to getting him back next week.
Bill Doyle: Brad Stevens said Marcus Smart (hand) will be out until after All-Star break. Shane Larkin (knee) also out today.
Scott Souza: #Celtics guard Marcus Smart to be re-evaluated tonight at game for hand progress. Likely out through All-Star break but hopeful for return soon after that.
Bill Doyle: Of the injured Celtics, Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris are the most likely to play Sunday against Portland, according to Brad Stevens. Marcus Smart and Shane Larkin aren't as close to returning.
Steve Bulpett: Official from the NBA tells me that league has no current plans to investigate the Marcus Smart matter. Any punishment will be left to the Celtics.
Marcus Smart, who flew back to Boston after hurting his hand in a team hotel room, has a follow-up appointment scheduled for later this week. "Marcus is doing light work on the bike and obviously nothing with the hand," Stevens said. "He's got another appointment on Wednesday to follow up where they will either--from what I've been told--tell him what the next steps are as far as how much he can work out, how much he can do. Because he had a pretty significant cut."
The book is far from closed in the Marcus Smart matter. While the team is said to be satisfied with the explanation behind the Wednesday incident in which he lacerated his right hand, he could still face a fine and/or suspension. According to league sources briefed on the situation, Smart’s story checks out. There was a broken picture frame in the bathroom in his Beverly Hills hotel room, and glass was indeed found in his hand, requiring stitches. The Celtic guard’s anger was apparently raised over pictures posted by a female acquaintance on social media — pictures that have since been deleted.
Smart received stitches in Los Angeles and returned to Boston, where doctors examined him and determined he could miss approximately two weeks. According to one NBA source, it is within the Celtics’ right to levy punishment, possibly matching a suspension to the number of games Smart is forced to miss with the injury.
Jay King: Brad Stevens said the Celtics will handle any Marcus Smart punishment internally. Called himself "disappointed" about Smart's injury.
Marcus Smart returned to Boston following right hand lacerations suffered from a non-basketball incident prior to Wednesday night’s game vs. the LA Clippers.
Following evaluation by Drs. Tony Schena and Drew Terono at New England Baptist Hospital, it was determined that Smart’s timeline for a return to action is approximately two weeks.
Marcus Smart: I want to take this time to express my sincerest apologies to my teammates, coaches, and most of all the amazing Boston Celtics fans. I'm embarrassed and disappointed in my actions. I swiped at and hit a picture frame on the wall. I feel like I let all y'all down
Marcus Smart: I promise I will learn from this situation and come back better than ever. I love y'all and I truly appreciate all the support
Abby Chin: #Celtics bench gets a boost tonight! Marcus Smart is a go. Plan is to play 4-5 min/qtr. #CelticsTalk
Stevens did cut his team some slack, noting that Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Marcus Smart haven’t been on the court together at the start of the season, and that does nothing to help team chemistry and rhythm on the court, not to mention spacing. “Losing guys out of our lineups, obviously Jae and Al and Marcus — we haven’t had all three of those guys in one game; those are three of our best defenders. “But the reality is that even with that, even with the idea that one, two, or three of those guys are out at once, that we should be better than we’ve been. I don’t think the group that’s played will necessarily be, especially with the group that we had out last night, I don’t think we’re going to be a top-10 defense. But we can be 12th or 13th, right at the end of the season, that’s for sure.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics guard Marcus Smart said "couple weeks" he'll be out w/ ankle - retroactive to injury. So about a week to go.
Adam Himmelsbach: Marcus Smart (finger) is returning to practice today. Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) sitting out again. Said he's not sure about tomorrow's game.
Adam Himmelsbach: Marcus Smart on starting: "That’s not up to me. Those guys have been playing very well with Isaiah and Avery in the starting lineup. I don’t want to come back and disrupt the flow. I want to add to it and keep it going."
June 24, 2022 | 9:16 pm EDT Update
JD Shaw: The Memphis Grizzlies are adding shooting guard Dakota Mathias (@DMathias31) to their summer league roster, his agency Edge Sports tells @HoopsRumors. Mathias holds two-way experience with the Sixers.
Law Murray: Source to @theathletic: Nebraska shooting guard Trey McGowens will join LA Clippers for summer league in Las Vegas next month. McGowens tied for team lead with 1.6 steals per game last season to go with 4.1 rebounds and 36.8% 3-point shooting. Played at Pitt before Nebraska.
JD Shaw: The Dallas Mavericks are adding swingman Isaiah Brown to their summer league roster, his agent Andre Buck tells @HoopsRumors. Brown, 24, attended a free-agent mini-camp with the team earlier this week.
June 24, 2022 | 7:39 pm EDT Update
Charlotte Hornets President of Basketball Operations & General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today the team has named Steve Clifford head coach. Clifford, who previously served the team’s head coach from 2013-2018, returns to Charlotte, where his 196 wins ranks second in franchise history, sitting just 11 behind Allan Bristow.
Damichael Cole: David Roddy said he got a text message from Tyus Jones before the NBA Draft. He called Jones one of his mentors growing up in Minnesota. He played AAU basketball with Tyus’ younger brother, Tre Jones.