Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart left the team’s 113-104 win against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden early on Sunday afternoon after taking a shot to the abdomen — a potentially brutal injury for the 25-year-old after he tore his left oblique in April.
Smart attempted to jump in front of Knicks forward Kevin Knox and take a charge midway through the third quarter, but was called for a blocking foul instead. As soon as he made contact with Knox, Smart fell to the ground in obvious pain, immediately grabbing his left side. He stayed on the court for some time until he was finally helped off the floor and taken to the locker room.
He did not return, finishing the day with three rebounds and zero points after shooting 0-of-6 from the field.
Marcus Smart just headed to the locker room after taking an elbow to his oblique area pic.twitter.com/L5BA3GP5yK
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) December 1, 2019
“The only thing I heard is that it was, I don't know if it's his oblique, or right in that area, and they said, ‘It wasn't as bad as in the past,’” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said, via ESPN. “I don't know what that means. I'm sure we'll get more information in the next couple hours.”
Smart tore his left oblique in April after taking a similar hit from Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic, and missed nearly a month. He confirmed to NBC Sports’ Abby Chin that he did get hit in the same spot where he tore his oblique, and that he was still in pain when he left Madison Square Garden.
He plans to reevaluate the injury on Monday, when Celtics wing Gordon Hayward is also expected to receive an update on his progress recovering from left hand surgery last month — something he felt like he was “ahead of schedule” on.
Smart has averaged 12.6 points and 4.9 assists so far this season in Boston, his sixth in the league. The Celtics take the court next on Wednesday night for a matchup against the Miami Heat at TD Garden, though it’s unclear if Smart will be available.
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