Celtics guard Marcus Smart hit the floor during the second quarter of the Celtics blowout win over the Sixers. Smart was driving in for a layup against MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid when he appeared to land awkwardly on his right ankle. He was helped off the floor and to the locker room. Shortly thereafter, he was ruled out by the Celtics medical staff with a right ankle sprain.
Smart previously missed six games in mid-January due to NBA Health & Safety Protocols. Immediately upon his return, Boston flipped the switch. The Celtics won 11 of their next 12 games once Smart returned on January 23rd against the Wizards.
“He rolled his ankle pretty bad,” Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said postgame. “He’s limping noticeably so we’ll check him out tonight and obviously tomorrow to see how he feels. It didn’t look great how he was walking out, but we’ll see.”
Smart missed three other games this season. He was absent for a two-game stretch at the end of December for a pair of ugly losses to the Timberwolves and Clippers. He also missed one game in late October against the Wizards due to a non-COVID illness, which the Celtics also lost. Smart was questionable going into Tuesday night’s game, listed once again with a non-COVID illness, but he was deemed well enough to suit up in Philadelphia.
The timetable for his return is unknown and will hinge primarily on the grade of the ankle sprain suffered against the 76ers:
- Grade 1: 7-10 days
- Grade 2: 2-4 weeks
- Grade 3: 4-6 weeks
The Celtics are 3-6 this season without Marcus Smart in the lineup. They have one more game before the All-Star break on Wednesday night against the Pistons, who currently have the worst record in the NBA. They’ll return to action, with or without Marcus Smart, on February 24th against the Nets.
Photo: (Michael Dwyer – AP Photo)
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