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Report: Marcus Smart to have thumb surgery, could return for playoffs

The Boston Celtics’ recent injury issues just got a little bit worse, it seems.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, guard Marcus Smart is going to have surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Smart missed the Celtics’ last game because of the injury. Per Wojnarowski, the Celtics are hopeful he will be able to return at some point in the postseason:

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart will undergo surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

There is hope that Smart can return in six weeks, sources said, which would mean he’d be available for the Eastern Conference playoffs. His timetable for a return will be clearer after the surgery.

Smart suffered what the team termed a sprained right thumb while diving to the floor during the first half of a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. He downplayed the severity of his injury after Sunday’s game, but initial tests Monday showed more worrisome damage to the thumb, forcing Smart to examine his options.

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 vs. Detroit and has played in every game since then. Then came Sunday, when Smart injured his right thumb again. Days ago, the length of Smart’s absence from the lineup was undetermined as he was reportedly seeking second opinions on how to treat the injury.

All-Star big man Al Horford will be back in the lineup for the Celtics tonight as they visit the Orlando Magic (7 ET, NBA League Pass). The Celtics will still be without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving (knee) and second-year forward Jaylen Brown (concussion protocol) tonight, however.

This morning, coach Brad Stevens said Irving is feeling a bit better today and that he will do a workout with the team at the arena. As for Brown, Stevens said, “His headache was resolved yesterday. There’s a chance that he’ll now start a physical part of the progression back. He will be reassessed early next week.”

In Wednesday’s double-overtime loss to the Washington Wizards, the Celtics were down five players (Irving, Horford, Brown, Smart and center Daniel Theis). Despite being so shorthanded, the Celtics built a 20-point lead in that game before squandering it.

Horford missed two games because of his illness while Brown has not played since suffering his concussion on March 8 vs. Minnesota. Smart missed the Wizards game with a right thumb sprain while Theis tore a ligament in his left knee and is out for the rest of the season.