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Marcus Smart of Boston Celtics could miss rest of season, per coach Brad Stevens

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens says guard Marcus Smart will evaluate his treatment options next week before making a decision about how to progress with an injured right thumb but acknowledged that Smart might not return this season.

During his weekly appearance Wednesday on Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub, Stevens said Smart is waiting to see how his thumb responds to initial treatment while gathering opinions on the injury.

“He’s gotta figure out what his next steps are,” Stevens told the Zolak & Bertrand Show. “He told me today that he’s going to take a couple of days, see what it feels like early next week, get all of the different doctors’ opinions [then] sit down early next week and weigh his options.

“There could be a slight chance that he’s back sooner rather than later, but I’d say that it’s not going to be any time too soon. And there’s a chance that he would not be back.”

Smart suffered what the team has termed a sprained right thumb while diving to the floor during the first half of a loss to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday. Smart had the injury taped and finished with 20 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals while nearly willing Boston to victory in a game in which fellow guard Kyrie Irving sat out the second half due to knee soreness.

Smart downplayed the severity of the injury after Sunday’s game, but initial tests Monday showed more worrisome damage to the thumb, forcing Smart to examine his options.

Said Stevens: “At the end of the day, Marcus is going to seek a second opinion, confer with everybody that he’s talked to and make the right decision from there that he’s comfortable with, that we’re comfortable with, that everybody is comfortable with.”

The Celtics will be without at least six players for Wednesday night’s visit from the Washington Wizards, including starters Irving (knee), Al Horford (illness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion). Rookie Daniel Theis tore his meniscus against the Pacers and is expected to miss the remainder of the season while Gordon Hayward is rehabbing from a fractured ankle and is not expected back this season.

Rookie Jayson Tatum is listed as probable due to lower back tightness.

Stevens said Irving remains day-to-day while battling tendinitis that has given him discomfort in recent games. Stevens noted that Brown will not travel on Boston’s upcoming two-game road trip and that the earliest he could return is next week if he progresses without issue through the league’s concussion protocol. Horford will miss his second game due to illness.

Asked about all the injuries, Stevens said simply, “Next man up.” He noted it’s a good chance for Boston to evaluate its entire roster as the postseason nears.

The Celtics sit comfortably in the No. 2 spot in the East, four games back of the East-leading Raptors and 6.5 games in front of the surging Pacers.

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