Celtics’ Smart ‘confident’ he’ll be back for playoffs

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart met with reporters Monday for the first time since undergoing right thumb surgery and said he’s “confident” he’ll be back for the playoffs.

Smart suffered a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and was ruled out for the rest of the regular season.

The Celtics announced Smart is looking at a recovery time of six-to-eight weeks, but the rugged defender thinks he can come back even sooner.

“I am confident I’ll be back for the playoffs,” Smart said Monday night at a charity event he hosted. “I had one of the top [hand] doctors do it. The surgery was a success. Like she told me, you might as well go on and get it now. The quicker you can get it, the quicker the recovery. I’m real, real, real excited and eager to get back out there, whenever that is, hopefully it’s sooner than later, like I said. Hopefully the team can and, like I think they’re gonna do, is handle their business and have me back [in the postseason].”

Smart averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 54 games this season for the Celtics. He will become a restricted free-agent this summer.