Marcus Smart set to return for Celtics in game five

NBA.com Global on Apr 25, 2018 07:27 AM
Marcus Smart set to return for Celtics in game five
Marcus Smart NBA file photo

NBA.com staff report

The Boston Celtics have made do in the playoffs with a backcourt lacking in depth. That could change in today's Game 5, though, as guard Marcus Smart may suit up.

About two hours before tip, Celtics coach Brad Stevens confirmed that Smart would play in Game 5 against the Bucks.

Smart had surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb in mid-March and was expected to miss six to eight weeks because of the injury. He is listed as questionable by the Celtics as Boston tries to climb from a 2-2 series tie with Milwaukee.

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald has more on Smart and his status for tonight:

Though Smart originally was scheduled to meet with his surgeon today in New York regarding his right thumb, the meeting took place yesterday. The result was Smart being cleared for action a day early, according to a league source.

When Smart told the media on Sunday that he was targeting a Game 6 return, even that goal was ahead of schedule, considering that his original projection called for an April 27 return, a day before a potential Game 7.

...

Smart’s desire to return is being driven by a lot of motivations — the fact his team just dropped Games 3 and 4 in Milwaukee and the fact he hates watching from the bench, to name two.

But the tragic news that Camellia Smart has been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer is undoubtedly the greatest motivator of all. When he went back to Texas two weeks ago, and was given the news by Camellia in person, she also told him to go back to Boston to get ready to play again.

In late January, Smart suffered a cut to his right hand as the result of a self-inflicted injury. He punched a picture frame in his Los Angeles hotel room during the team's road trip, causing an gash on the hand that required stitches and for him to be out of the lineup.

He returned to the lineup on Feb. 23 (Feb. 24, PHL time) vs. Detroit and played in every game after that. Then, on March 11 (Mar. 12, PHL time), Smart injured his right thumb again. Days later, the length of Smart's absence from the lineup was undetermined as he was reportedly seeking second opinions on how to treat the injury.

He then had the surgery on his thumb, which has sidelined him ever since.

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