Marcus Smart will miss yet another game for the Celtics on Friday night because of a lingering eye infection, and doesn’t seem any closer to making his return.
The infection, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, is actually one of the worst their team doctors have ever seen.
“The last report I got, they didn’t think they’ve seen one this bad,” Stevens said, via MassLive.com. “He’s just really had a tough go about it. So I don’t know when he’ll be back. He’s still not around here.”
Doctors aren’t positive as to a cause for the infection — which is not pink eye, but rather a “viral” issue — but it had spread to both eyes earlier this week. He was given an initial 10-day recovery window, though he hit 10 days on Thursday.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was hopeful this week that Smart could return by Christmas, when they’ll take on the Toronto Raptors, but insisted that target was “just a guess.”
“He was just quarantined at home, but he’s been getting better,” Ainge said, via MassLive.com. “I’ve been talking to him every day. I’m hoping that he’ll be healthy — he hasn’t played basketball or even been out of bed much over the last week, 10 days, so we need to get him back out on the court, sweating and making sure he’s healthy and feeling good.”
The 25-year-old has averaged 11.8 points and 4.6 assists in 20 games for the Celtics this season, his sixth in the league.
Gordon Hayward’s MRI comes back clean
Smart won’t be the only Celtics star sidelined on Friday night.
Gordon Hayward will miss his second straight game against the Pistons with a lingering foot injury. An MRI on his foot revealed no structural damage, however, marking a welcome sign for the injury-plagued Hayward.
Gordon Hayward is out tonight. MRI reveals nothing structural.
— John Karalis 🇬🇷 (@RedsArmy_John) December 20, 2019
Hayward, who went down with a gruesome leg injury in his very first game with the Celtics three years ago, has appeared in just 11 games this season while dealing with a broken hand. The 29-year-old, who is in his 10th season in the league, has averaged 17.5 points and 6.1 rebounds for Boston this year.
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