It’s been a dark time for the Boston Celtics of late, but Marcus Smart is here to give the C’s a glimmer of hope before the 2018 NBA playoffs begin.

Smart recently had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. While initial reports suggested that Smart might not be able to return this season, the Oklahoma State product told reporters he is confident he will be able to return for the playoffs.

“I am confident,” Smart said when asked about a potential return this season, via ESPN. “Like I said, had one of the top doctors do it. The surgery was a success and like she told me, you know, might as well go on and get it now. The quicker we can get it, the quicker the recovery. And, you know, I’m real, real, real excited and eager, you know, to get back out there, whenever that is. Hopefully sooner than later.”

Music to Celtics fan’s ears.

The news comes at a time when Boston has been ravaged by injuries. The C’s lost Daniel Theis for the season, and have been without Kyrie Irving (knee soreness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) for the last handful of games, although both are inching closer to a return.

Smart is a key player for Boston, as he sets the defensive tone for the team and helps anchor the bench unit along with Terry Rozier and Marcus Morris.

With 12 games remaining until the playoffs, it seems unlikely that Smart will return for Round 1. But there is more hope now that he could make an impact if the C’s advance in the playoffs, and that should give Celtics fans reason to smile.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images