Smart sustained the injury after he dove to the floor during Boston’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday in the first half of the game. The injury was initially described as a sprained right thumb, but after more tests where done by Celtics team doctors on Monday, it was revealed that the damage was more severe.
The Celtics, who will finish as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, are hopeful that Smart will be able to return ahead of the start of the playoffs. They will likely face either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Miami Heat in a first-round playoff series, where Smart’s ability to guard a variety of wing players might come in handy.
This will be the second time this season Smart will miss extended time because of a hand injury. He previously missed 11 games after he punched a picture frame at a hotel the Celtics were staying at in Los Angeles during the month of January. Smart suffered several lacerations on his right hand following that incident, and could’ve potentially missed the rest of the season had the cuts he sustained been closer to tendons in his pinky.
In Smart’s absence, both Terry Rozier and Shane Larkin will seen an increase in playing time. Rozier is currently starting for the Celtics with star point guard Kyrie Irving dealing with a knee injury, but will likely transition back to the bench whenever Irving returns.
The 24-year-old Smart is averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 36% from the field and 30% from three in 54 games this season. He is currently set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
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