Troubling update on Marcus Smart's eye infection overshadows good Gordon Hayward news


The Boston Celtics' quest to get healthy remains a work in progress.

The Celtics officially ruled Gordon Hayward out of Friday's game against the Detroit Pistons due to a foot injury, which apparently has been bothering Hayward for quite some time.

The good news? An MRI on Thursday revealed no structural damage on Hayward's foot, and coach Brad Stevens doesn't believe his injury is long-term.

"Just same pain that hopefully will dissipate in the next couple of days," Stevens told reporters, via NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg. "It’s nothing muscular, it’s nothing bone-wise."

That comes after president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday the Celtics were still trying to determine the nature of Hayward's injury, which he's been dealing with since November.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

Stevens' update on Marcus Smart was less promising, however.

The Celtics guard has missed Boston's last four games due to an eye infection, and apparently his eye isn't getting much better.

"The last report I got (from the training staff), they didn’t think they’ve seen one this bad," Stevens told reporters Friday, per Forsberg. 

"He’s just really had a tough go about it. So, I don’t know when he’ll be back. He’s still not around here."

Ainge said Thursday he hopes Smart can return to the team by Christmas for their matchup with the Toronto Raptors.

The silver lining for Boston is that Smart had been fighting through nagging oblique and finger injuries, so his absence entering a soft portion of the schedule may allow those ailments to further heal.

Another silver lining? Detroit also is dealing with injuries, as Blake Griffin, Luke Kennard and Christian Wood all are expected to miss Friday's game at TD Garden.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pistons, which tips off Friday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike and Tommy have the call at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

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