Marcus Smart Confirms He Will Play Game 5 vs. Bucks

Defensive specialist returns several days ahead of schedule and will wear protective splint on the surgically repaired right thumb

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BOSTON — Marcus Smart is back and ready to roll.

Returning from his right thumb surgery some three days early than initially anticipated, the Celtics’ Mr. Energy on defense is back just in time to give the Celtics a boost.

Brad Stevens said in his pregame press conference an hour and 45 minutes before tip that the guard will wear a splint on his right hand and that his right hand “will be more protected” than his off hand.

“Marcus is the only guy I can say this about: he’s been here for four years. So, I think I know him. Without question, you haven’t played in six weeks, there’s going to be some rusty moments. But that’s alright. That’s part of it.”

Stevens said there’s no minutes restriction per se but added “he won’t be playing 35 minutes.”

Smart, who had surgery on March 16 to repair a torn ligament in the thumb area of his right hand, later confirmed that he passed through all pregame checks without any issues and is a go for the pivotal Game 5. Asked if he might be tentative with the thumb or concerned about re-injuring his thumb, Smart replied, “not at all.”

“If you start trying to play not to get hurt, that’s when you start to get hurt instead of just going out there to play,” Smart added.