CHARLOTTE — The Celtics may have lost Leandro Barbosa for the season on Monday night with a left knee injury sustained late in the third quarter of the Celtics’ 94-91 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.
Barbosa grabbed a loose ball, passed it and then tumbled near the photographers area and stayed there as play continued on the other side of the court.
After Jeff Green fouled Brendan Haywood, Celtics players rushed to help Barbosa, who couldn’t get up on his own. He was carried off the court by rookie center Fab Melo and head trainer Ed Lacerte without placing pressure on either leg. He will undergo an MRI on Tuesday but Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the injury didn’t “look good” while Kevin Garnett said the players were told the injury is season ending.
“We got the news when we came in the locker room,” Garnett said. “It’s tough all the way around. You mesh with these guys and all of a sudden you see a season-ending injury. It’s tough. We’re grinding right now on top of a back-to-back emotional game.
“The blow of Barbosa is kind of the fog or the cloud that’s in the room right now.”
When asked if he was told Barbosa’s season was over, Garnett said, “Pretty much.”
Teammate Courtney Lee wasn’t so sure Barbosa was going to miss the season.
“We’re not sure what he has,” Lee said. “Hopefully he’ll be fine. Hopefully he’ll miss a couple of days and get back at it. We’re hoping it’s not too serious. I hope he’s OK though. He said he’s fine, so hopefully he just twisted something and needs ice and a couple of days of rest.”
He walked out of the Celtics locker room, noticeably limping on his left leg.
It is the third significant injury sustained in the past 16 games. Rajon Rondo tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on Jan. 25 at Atlanta while Jared Sullinger underwent season-ending back surgery on Feb. 1.
Barbosa was flourishing over the past few weeks and his 12-point fourth quarter helped the Celtics defeat the Toronto Raptors on Feb. 6 at Air Canada Centre. He finished with 3 points Monday on 1-for-6 shooting.