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J.R. Smith to have surgery Friday

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Smith is still expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Chris Haynes, Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith is scheduled for surgery Friday to fix his injured right thumb. The timetable for his return is still at 4-6 weeks.

With Smith now set for his operation, it’s easier to start pinpointing his return date. If he returns exactly a month from his surgery date, that would mean he’d return on Jan. 23 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Since that seems a bit too on the nose, other possible return dates could be Jan. 25 against the Sacramento Kings or Jan. 25 against the Brooklyn Nets.

If this absence is on the six weeks end of the spectrum, possible return dates could be Feb. 6 against the Washington Wizards or Feb. 8 against the Indiana Pacers. Those games, of course, are fairly close to the All-Star break - which starts after a Feb. 15 game against the Pacers - and it doesn’t seem out of the question that Cavs could opt to play it really safe and just have Smith return after the break on Feb. 23 against the New York Knicks or Feb. 25 against the Chicago Bulls.