BOSTON (CBS) — Marcus Smart may have lost a sneaker last Friday, but the Celtics’ rookie point feels very lucky.
Smart is on the mend after suffering a severe sprain and bone bruise in his left ankle during Boston’s win over Indianapolis last week and will be out of game action for a few more weeks, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday morning.
But for Smart, who went down like a ton of bricks after awkwardly stepping on Lavoy Allen’s foot, he thought it was going to be a lot worse.
“I felt like my foot was on fire,” Smart said Thursday, telling reporters that doctors had to cut the sneaker off his left foot because it was so swollen. “Looking back at the video and listening to what they had to say they thought I broke it for a moment, and I did too. I couldn’t put any pressure on it. I tried to get up and they told me to stay down; they didn’t want to take any chances.
“It was a blessing. I thank God it wasn’t a lot worse than what it could have been,” he said. “You see a lot of guys go down with that type of injury and you think the worst when you see the stretcher come out.”
Smart has had plenty of sprained ankles during his life as a basketball player, but said he never experienced the pain he felt last Friday. Nearly a week removed from the injury, he is working hard to get back on the floor, following every word of the Celtics’ medical staff.
“I feel a lot better, especially better than I did Friday night,” he said. “The staff here has done an unbelievable job with the treatment. It’s just been a work in progress.”
For a fierce competitor like Smart, the sixth overall pick by Boston in June’s draft, sitting and watching his teammates play and practice is no easy task. But he is making the most of his time, and making sure his presence is still felt in some way.
“It’s been eating me alive. I love to play basketball and that’s been taken away from me right now. I’m trying to stay engaged in practice, on the court and when I’m off the court doing treatment,” he said. “But seeing the guys out there and knowing I can’t do anything, it’s [a] helpless [feeling].”
Smart said he wants to be back as soon as possible, but won’t rush back if he is not completely healthy — a common mistake made by young players.
“I know I’ll feel better before I actually am,” he said. “I’m just trying to make sure I’m 100 percent before I step foot on the floor.”
While some have enjoyed a laugh at the fact Smart was taken off on a stretcher for a sprained ankle, he sure doesn’t feel that way.
“Anybody who encounters an injury, you always feel that fear; no matter what the injury you always feel the worst, and that’s kind of what happened,” he explained. “Sometimes it really is just in your mind and it’s not as bad as you thought it was, but sometimes it is.”
Those in attendance when Smart went down certainly didn’t feel that way either. Smart received an ovation as he was carted off, which is something he’ll never forget.
“It shows the love they have for their teams here and Boston and I want to thank the crowd for that,” said Smart. “It really meant a lot to me.”
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