The Boston Celtics lost a heartbreaker on Saturday night to the Lakers in a 96-95 back and forth affair, but the bigger news coming out of the game was Marcus Smart leaving with a calf injury early in the fourth quarter.
Smart was initially diagnosed with a calf strain, with an MRI to come on Sunday to determine the severity of the injury and the timetable for his return. The results of that MRI were a Grade 1 tear of his “right medial gastrocnemius” muscle, which is the calf muscle, that will keep him out for 2-3 weeks.
Here’s what I learned today: something called a gastrocnemius exists. pic.twitter.com/x95LjNykzd
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 31, 2021
The good news is that the injury isn’t so severe to require any surgery, and Smart seems to be in good spirits following his MRI.
be back in no time
The squad got this!
Thanks for all the pic.twitter.com/FLNsyqD3W1
— marcus smart (@smart_MS3) January 31, 2021
Smart’s absence is obviously notable for the Celtics, as he logs the third most minutes on the team and is their fourth leading scorer, which doesn’t even begin to address what he does for Boston’s defense. With Payton Pritchard also out with a knee injury, the backcourt rotation in Boston becomes quite thin, and we’ll have to see if they’re willing to extend Kemba Walker’s minutes a bit more — he’s yet to play more than 29 minutes in a game — as well as who else gets the nod for more minutes in Smart’s absence. Rookie Aaron Nesmith could see more of the floor just to have a larger guard out there.