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J.R. Smith Gives Latest Update on Thumb Injury
- Updated: January 20, 2017
When Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith suffered a fractured right thumb on Dec. 20, the original diagnosis was that he would be out between 12 to 14 weeks. One month after that injury, Smith is offering an update but no timetable on exactly when he’ll be back playing for the team.
Smith is scheduled for a doctor’s visit on Friday and recently spoke to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com about his status. He noted that the injury has prevented him from doing cardio work, though he has been able to run and use an exercise bike.
“Right now it’s just healing,” Smith said about his thumb, which is currently in a brace after first being placed in a hard protective cast. “I can’t really do anything. It sucks not being able to play, but I’m doing good.”
The injury is a continuation of the struggles that Smith has had this season after missing most of training camp due to contract issues. He was averaging 8.6 points per game and connecting on 36 percent of his 3-pointers before his injury, which are the lowest statistics in his three seasons with the team. When the injury took place, Smith seemed on the verge of coming out of his slump, having connected on 14-of-18 from long range in his three previous games played.
Smith is trying to remain patient during this stretch of time.
“I just want to be able to take it one day at a time,” Smith said. “I need to be able to do something to get my heart rate up before I can even think about playing again. It’s crazy because it’s still a long ways away. From when I start being able to work out, it’s still a long ways away from me being able to get on the court.”
Two weeks after Smith was injured, the Cavaliers acquired Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks in order to at least temporarily fill the gap at shooting guard caused by Smith’s absence. Despite the fact that he’ll be competing with Korver for playing time upon his return, Smith praised the deal.
“I’m glad I don’t have to chase his ass no more,” Smith said. “He’s good. Space the floor. Gives a great effort on the defensive end and we really need the shooting.”
In some much better news, Smith also offered a brief update on his newborn daughter, Dakota, who remains hospitalized after being born five months prematurely.
“She’s doing good,” Smith said.