Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart had some good news this weekend when he revealed that he has avoided serious injury and hopes to be ready for training camp in September.
Smart dislocated his right index and middle fingers while diving after a rebound in Thursday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers at summer league in Las Vegas. His fingers were shown bending in ways that fingers just weren't meant to bend, but X-rays revealed no broken bones. It seems Smart has dodged a bullet, which comes as a huge relief to him and the team.
"I feel a lot better now," Smart told reporters during halftime of Saturday's game. "Not as much pain as I was feeling the first couple of days. They've got me working on my motion, so everything's feeling better."
Smart was sporting a pair of splints on his fingers and had much of his right hand wrapped for stability when he showed up to watch Saturday's game. He described the shock of looking down at his fingers distorted into such an unnatural position and the pain that he felt up until the moment they were popped back into place. Smart's immediate thought was that the fingers were broken, but fortunately he seems to have avoided that scenario.
"It looked like my fingers were done," recalls Smart. "I ended up getting five stitches on my index finger; I guess it broke skin, but I didn't know that at the time until we got them popped back in, and I saw the blood on top."
Well that sounds gruesome.
When asked about when he will resume basketball activities, Smart would not commit to a time frame. He says that he isn't looking to rush and is instead focused on regaining strength in his fingers and preparing for training camp. He likely won't participate in any other exhibition games prior to that, as he wants to ensure he makes it to training camp healthy.
Not only is Smart fortunate that the injury wasn't worse than it was, but it couldn't have happened at a much better time. With summer league having wrapped up over the weekend we now find ourselves in a relatively quiet part of the schedule, allowing Smart several weeks to recover before reporting to camp.
A pair of broken fingers could have set Smart back months and jeopardized the start of his season, but he and the Celtics can take a sigh of relief knowing that he should be ready in plenty of time.