Marcus Smart used an unfortunate word to summarize what he’s been through the last few weeks while battling an eye infection.
The Celtics guard, who hasn’t played since Dec. 6, spoke with reporters Wednesday in Toronto before Boston defeated the Raptors 118-102 at Scotiabank Arena. He offered a very detailed — and very disgusting — description of his ailment, which surfaced with Smart already battling a cold that weakened his immune system and since has affected both of his eyes.
“So it was painful, it was burning … it was really hard,” Smart said, per ESPN.com. “I couldn’t see. I had outdoor sunglasses everywhere. Even in the dark I was wearing sunglasses. It was that bad. Just every morning I would wake up just having sticky discharge coming out of my eyes, sealing my eyes shut. It was really just gross. It got so bad that my eyes, my eyelids started forming these mucus membranes, and they literally had to go in and pry the mucus membranes out.
“I actually have a picture that I showed the guys. It was pretty gross. I was bleeding tears every time they did it, for like a day. They did that for about four days straight. The first day was probably the worst, just because it built up so much that it started to scab under my eyelids, and they had to open the scab and then pull it out. It felt like they were putting needles in my eyes. They were using tweezers and vise grips to hold my eyes and actually get into my eyelids, the bottom and top.”
Smart, who called the whole ordeal “really scary,” has been cleared to begin working out again. He’s now trying to get back into game shape after being bedridden and losing several pounds thanks to a stretch in which he couldn’t really eat. According to Smart, he’s “about 80 percent” and is hopeful he’ll return to game action before the end of the month. He’s also thankful things haven’t turned out worse.
“I thought I was going to go blind for a while,” Smart said. “I think 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 to anybody else.
“It was the worst pain that I’ve been through in a very long time. I don’t wish it on anybody. But I’m here.”
The Celtics close out the year with three more games against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Raptors and Charlotte Hornets. It’s unclear when Smart, who’s still taking special eye drops, will rejoin the lineup, but the 25-year-old appears to be in good spirits despite the infection, which is one of several injuries he’s been forced to deal with early in the 2019-20 campaign.