Marcus Smart injury update: Celtics guard to be re-evaluated after catching hard elbow to his oblique area

Marcus Smart is one of the toughest players in the league, and the last thing he ever wants to do is miss games. But he may not have a choice after suffering an injury during the Boston Celtics' 113-104 win over the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon. 

Early in the third quarter, Smart rotated on defense and moved his feet to try and cut off Kevin Knox's drive to the basket. The two collided in the process, and Smart collapsed to the ground in serious pain after being whistled for a foul. He stayed down for a few minutes while he was attended to by the medical staff, and was soon helped off the floor. A short time later, the team announced he was out for the game after taking a "direct blow to the abdomen."

After the game, while walking to the Celtics' team bus, Smart said that he got hit in the exact same spot where he injured his oblique last season. Back in April, Smart suffered a torn oblique against the Orlando Magic, and was forced to miss the Celtics' regular-season finale and their first seven playoff games. 

"It wasn't as bad as the tear, but it's still sore and pretty tender," Smart said about his oblique. "We're just going to take it slow and day-by-day re-evaluate it, and see what we have to do."

It remains to be seen how long Smart will be sidelined -- if he'll miss any games at all -- but that would obviously be a big blow to the Celtics. Smart is their best defender, and one of the most versatile players on that side of the ball in the entire league, he's another playmaker who can take some of the pressure off of Kemba Walker and is the heart and soul of their team.

At the same time, Smart missing a few games might be for the best in the long run. In the era of load management, Smart is almost offended by the idea of sitting out to rest. That's an admirable trait, but he also takes a beating every night due to the physicality he plays with. Already he's had to leave a game against the Phoenix Suns with a rolled ankle, and every night he has to peel himself off the floor after tough collisions. A real injury that forces him to take a week or two off would give some of the minor knocks he's assuredly dealing with some time to heal, and provide him with the rest he needs.

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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