Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart said Wednesday that doctors told him he was fortunate his hand injury wasn't season-ending.
Smart—who returned to practice Wednesday on the heels of missing 11 games after punching a glass picture frame out of frustration in Los Angeles in January—said doctors were surprised he was able to avoid tendon damage, per ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg:
"[Doctors] said the two tendons that ran along the pinky area, the main tendons, and literally the glass was sitting right in between them. So, [the doctors said], 'You should go play the lotto or something because you missed your tendons.' They don't understand it. They don't really see how. So I thank God for that every day. It could have been worse.
"I probably would have had to have surgery. I would have been done for the year."
Smart added that he will be ready to play when the Celtics face the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
Boston has gone 6-5 with Smart on the shelf.
He said he felt bad about making a poor decision that put his team in a tough spot:
"I was devastated, just from the fact that I couldn't even get out there and do anything to help. I'm a competitor, and I think anybody in this league if you ask them they'll tell you: It's one thing to sit on the bench because of something that happened that you couldn't control, but it's another to sit on there for something you can control. I feel like I let my team down. But I got a second chance to come out and redeem myself."
Smart is tied for sixth on the team in scoring this season at 10.1 points per game. He is also second in assists (4.7) and first in steals (1.3).
The former Oklahoma State standout's greatest asset is his tenaciousness on defense, and he is a big reason why Boston ranks first in the NBA in defensive rating at 100.9.
Smart is also tied for first in the NBA in individual defensive win shares with 0.058.
The Celtics trail the Toronto Raptors by two games for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Advanced stats courtesy of NBA.com.