Grizzlies' Marcus Smart to miss at least 6 weeks with finger injury

The Memphis Grizzlies are down another player.

Marcus Smart will miss at least six weeks due to a right ring finger injury, the team announced Thursday. It's a rupture of the proximal interphalangeal joint central slip, which sounds terrible.

The 29-year-old sustained the injury Tuesday during the third quarter of a 120-103 road win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Smart, who scored 23 points in the contest, noticed that his finger was not in its usual position after he extended his hand to celebrate a made 3-pointer. He and the seemingly dislocated digit went back to the locker room and he was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JANUARY 07: Marcus Smart #36 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center on January 07, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Grizzlies defeated the Suns 121-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Marcus Smart won't take the court with the Memphis Grizzlies for a while. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

It's unclear what led the finger to pop out of place, but the specific injury was diagnosed after an MRI.

"It just felt funny and looked funny," Smart said after the game, via ESPN. "So I'm just like, let's get this checked out. Better safe than sorry. Nothing's broken, but we'll see what they say."

On Monday, the Grizzlies announced guard Ja Morant, who was recently reinstated from suspension, needed to undergo season-ending surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder.

Smart is in his first season with the Grizzlies after being traded from the Boston Celtics. He's averaging 14.5 points and 4.3 assists and is making a significant impact on defense with 2.1 steals per game. His latest injury comes after he was sidelined for 17 games due to a foot sprain earlier this season. With Smart, the Grizzlies allow an average of almost three fewer points per game than they do without him.

The Grizzlies now will go on without a superstar and a former Defensive Player of the Year. The team was just beginning to rebound from a really ugly stretch during Morant's suspension, winning back-to-back games and improving to 14-23. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. didn't play in the team's win over the Mavericks, but the team will need him more than ever without Smart. Desmond Bane likely will maintain his role as the team's top offensive option.