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Marcus Smart grateful to be back at practice, plans to play vs. Detroit Pistons

From NBA media reports

Roughly three weeks ago, guard Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics suffered a cut to his 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 to his right hand that required stitches and for him to be out of the lineup.

From the outset, Smart was apologetic to the Celtics and their fans for the injury, taking to Twitter to voice his contrition a few after it happened.

Yesterday, the Celtics held their first post-All-Star break practice and Smart revealed that his injury could have been a season-ending one had it happened in a different spot on his hand. As Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports, Smart said yesterday he’s glad he has a chance to return this season and is looking forward to Friday’s game against the Detroit Pistons (7 ET, NBA League Pass). The defensive-minded guard is hopeful he’ll play in that game and get back in the Celtics’ mix:

Instead, feeling particularly fortunate, Smart returned to practice last night and is expected to play in the Celtics return from the All-Star break tomorrow night in Detroit against the Pistons. Had that piece of glass cut another way, Smart’s sense of guilt would have probably been unbearable.

As it was, after suffering the self-inflicted wound and missing 12 games in the process, Smart thoroughly tortured himself, especially once the team pitched into a 1-4 slump that included three straight losses heading into the break.

“I’m a competitor,” he said. “I think anybody in this league if you ask them, they’ll tell you, it’s one thing to sit on the bench for something that happened that you couldn’t control. But it’s another to sit on there for something you (could) control. I feel like I let my team down. But I got a second chance to come out and redeem myself.

“I was devastated just from the fact that I couldn’t even get out there and do anything to help. And the fact that we know what we’re supposed to do. We know how to play basketball. We did it 53 games straight. But I think there’s no excuses. Games we lost and things like that. Those teams came ready. We didn’t. We’ve gotta finish the second half strong.”

“I’m sure he’d second this; it wasn’t a good move,” coach Brad Stevens said. “You don’t want to put yourself in that risk, but luckily nothing beyond what happened, happened. His hand is a lot better and that’s obviously encouraging. You don’t want anyone to pay any more than he did with regard to time missed, time away. He does want to play, he’s a guy who really likes to play, he’s a good teammate.”

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