BOSTON -- Marquis Daniels collapsed to the court and lay motionless for several minutes before being strapped to a stretcher Sunday during the Celtics' game against the Magic.
UPDATE: According to the Celtics, Daniels has a bruised spinal cord but has motion and feeling -- though he is expected to be out at least a month.
Daniels, who has a history of concussions and apparently neck problems, too, was making a sweep move on Gilbert Arenas when his head made what appeared to be minor contact with Arenas' chest. Daniels' head snapped back, and he collapsed to the floor, where he lay motionless and face down as trainer Ed Lacerte attended to him in a hushed TD Garden with several teammates kneeling on the floor around him.
Daniels was placed on a stretcher and signaled thumbs up as he was wheeled off the floor. Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said Daniels suffered a neck injury and was being transported to New England Baptist Hospital for tests. He was conscious and talking on his way to the ambulance, Twiss said.
Our Eye on Basketball blog has video of the incident.
"He just turned and faced and was trying to go fast and then, 'Boom!'" said Arenas, who said Celtics players were telling him as Daniels lay on the floor that he had a history of neck problems. "And he just hit the floor. I heard him hit the floor hard. I thought probably he had a little concussion, because I know Kevin Garnett said, 'Did he hit your knee?' And I said, 'I don’t think so.' And they said he has a neck problem, so sometimes when his neck goes wrong he gets paralyzed a little bit … and then he just bounces back."
Ray Allen said he wasn't aware of any neck problems Daniels had, but equated the injury to a football injury.
"The way he hit the ground, I just started thinking about any time I watched a football game and I saw a guy on the ground -- how their body just kind of didn't respond to anything," Allen said. "... And when I saw his face, it was the scariest feeling because it was almost like he couldn't do anything."
Daniels, 30, a reserve guard averaging 5.6 points per game, sustained a concussion in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Magic last May -- a game in which Glen Davis also suffered a concussion. In Sunday's supremely physical game between the East rivals, Davis also went to the locker room after hitting his head on the court while drawing a charge from Jameer Nelson. Davis suffered a bruised head and returned to the game.
The play on which Daniels was injured actually was one of the more nondescript examples of physical contact Sunday. He went down with 11:01 left in the second quarter and Orlando leading 24-17. Moments later, Dwight Howard and Nelson were assessed technical fouls after a hard foul by Kendrick Perkins.