BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics guard Marcus Smart collapsed in pain during the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s loss to the L.A. Lakers in Boston, and fans initially feared the worst. But Sunday, the team received better news.
Smart landed awkwardly while going up for a rebound and had to be helped off the court.READ MORE: Ups And Downs: Patriots Run All Over Bills, Defense Makes The Big Plays In Monday Night Win
The Celtics quickly announced that Smart suffered a calf injury and would not return.
Marcus Smart has a left calf strain, per the team.pic.twitter.com/fR3Wn8KZRk
— The Athletic NBA (@TheAthleticNBA) January 31, 2021
Though the initial speculation was grim, the news improved on Sunday.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Smart was diagnosed with a Grade 1 left calf strain. Charania called it a “sigh of relief for all.”READ MORE: Mac Jones Threw Just Three Passes To Make Patriots History In Wild Win Over Bills
The Celtics later described the injury as a “Grade I tear of his left medial gastrocnemius” and said Smart will likely miss 2-3 weeks.
💛 be back in no time💛
The ☘️ squad got this!
Thanks for all the 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/FLNsyqD3W1
— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) January 31, 2021
Losing Smart for any stretch will pose problems for Boston, now 10-8 on the season after Saturday night’s loss. Smart entered Saturday night’s game averaging career highs in points (13.2) and assists (6.0), but he brings so much more to the table with his tenacious defense.
“Marcus is essential to our team– he’s been great,” Jaylen Brown said after Saturday’s 96-95 loss. “Whether the numbers show it or not, Marcus has been a leader on this team. He’s been somebody that has been looking to get guys the ball in the right spots, including me. So to have him go down in the middle of the game like that, definitely had everybody concerned.MORE NEWS: Weekend Reservations Needed At Brookline Christmas Tree Farm Due To Demand
The Celtics begin a five-game West Coast road trip on Tuesday night.