Celtics guard Marcus Smart suffered a Grade 1 tear of his left medial gastrocnemius (part of the calf muscle), the Celtics announced Sunday.
A Grade 1 tear is typically mild, and the Celtics say Smart is “expected to return in approximately 2-3 weeks.”
While the Celtics will be without Smart for a short stretch, it appears the team dodged a major bullet.
Smart suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s loss to the Lakers, falling to the court and screaming in pain. There was no visible contact to cause the injury, causing some to fear for the worst. He was helped to the locker room by trainers and didn’t put any weight on his left leg.
Following Saturday’s game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters that Smart would get an MRI on his leg on Sunday.
Smart’s teammates showed great concern in his injury.
“Everybody was concerned with his health,” Brown told reporters. “And just trying to do our best to redirect that energy, because when one guy goes down, we’ve got to step up. Marcus is essential to our team man, he’s been great.
“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. Hopefully, the MRI is negative, and we get him and we can get some wins on the road.”
Smart, who’s made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team that last two seasons, is averaging 13.1 points and a team-high 6.1 assists per game this season.
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