Report: J.R. Smith could return in as little as three weeks

By Andrew Kulha
Courtesy of Tim Fuller, USA Today Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers starting shooting guard J.R. Smith suffered a complex fracture on his right thumb back in December that required surgery. He was originally scheduled to be out 12-14 weeks, which projected him for a March or early April return. Reportedly, that timeline has been moved up.

According to Chris Haynes and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com, Smith is making tremendous progress and could see the court for the Cavaliers in as little as three weeks.

“The sharpshooter is progressing well in his recovery from the injury that he sustained in late December, sources said. Barring an unforeseen setback, Smith will be back on the floor next month.”

This is huge news for Cleveland as LeBron James and friends look to gear up for the NBA Playoffs. At the time of this writing, the Cavaliers are 37-16 and first in the NBA’s Central Division. They’re also No. 1 in the Eastern Conference, so the early addition of Smith will be huge in helping the Cavs secure the No. 1 overall seed in the East.

Before getting injured, Smith averaged 8.6 points, 1.2 assists and 2.1 rebounds per game (eight games). He has career averages of 13.1 points, 2.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest.