Celtics' Marcus Smart Says Eye Infections Were 'Hell,' Put Vision at Risk

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 06: Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on before the game against the Denver Nuggets  at TD Garden on December 06, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart still hasn't been cleared but is nearing a return to the court after an eye infection he described as "hell."

"Just really, really painful and really not knowing," Smart told reporters. "I thought I was going to go blind for a while. The doctors said it was the worst case of viral conjunctivitis that they've seen, so basically I was a guinea pig to see how to handle this if it ever happens again with anybody else.

"But it was the worst pain that I've been through in a very long time, and I don't wish it on anybody. But I'm here. The eyes feel better. I'm still trying to adjust to some lights, light sensitivity. But everything, the contagious part is gone. They cleared me. They said from here on everything should be OK. I still have to see them kind of on a daily basis. They say it's so my cornea doesn't get white spotted behind it and mess up my eyesight. So it's definitely a process. It's an annoying process, but I'm just blessed to be able to come back and get through this."

Smart said doctors told him they were afraid the infection had gotten so bad it would permanently affect his vision:

"The way it was going, they were so worried about it affecting my cornea and my vision, so it was a little scary. At first we thought it was an allergic reaction, because I broke out in hives like the day before my eyes started having allergic reaction. But we caught it so early that the same symptoms came off, and then about three days later it transferred from my left eye to my right eye, and that's when we ruled out that an allergic reaction was the cause. They said it was a virus called the (adenovirus), and it was caused by having a cold already and being sick, so it makes sense because right before that, those two days after the Denver game, Dec. 6th, the 7th and 8th, I came down with an allergic reaction and a really bad cold."

"The Celtics actually sent me home, because I was feeling really bad, and it just kind of broke my immune system down and opened it up for everything else. Everything else in my body went haywire. It was just some unfortunate events that happened, but on the good side, I got to rest and heal up the injuries that I had and just let my body do what it does."

Smart has been out nearly three weeks due to the virus, but he did travel with the Celtics to their Christmas Day game against the Toronto Raptors. He's averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 assists and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 38.3 percent from the field and defending the best wing player on the opposing roster every night.

The Celtics have managed to stay afloat with Smart out of the lineup, posting a 4-2 record, including three straight victories heading into Christmas.

Thankfully, it appears the worst is over and Smart will be back out on the floor sooner than later.