UPDATE: Greg Smith will be undergoing an MRI exam to determine the severity of his injury.
.@Ju_Smith4 x-rays are negative, appears to have an LCL sprain, will go for MRI.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 15, 2013
Also: Rockets say Greg Smith knee x-rays negative but it does look like an LCL sprain; they'll get an MRI to confirm.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 15, 2013
-End of Update-
Despite averaging just five minutes of playing time and appearing in only three games for the Houston Rockets this season, head coach Kevin McHale decided to go with third-year pro and seldom-used Greg Smith as the primary backup to Dwight Howard against the New York Knicks Thursday night.
Unfortunately, that lasted all of 40 seconds.
Greg Smith took a shot to the face contesting a Carmelo drive. Stayed down through two possessions. Keith Jones, McHale checking him out.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 15, 2013
Coming down awkwardly on his right leg after contesting a Carmelo Anthony drive, Smith had to be helped to the locker room by two other people. He clearly couldn't put any weight on it, so it would appear to be a fairly serious injury.
With the recent reports of center Omer Asik asking for a trade from the Rockets, McHale went with Smith as his first big off the bench instead of his 7'0" big man.
There's no word yet on whether or not his request to be dealt from the team has anything to do with his benching, however, it would appear that his performance Wednesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers could have something to do with it.
At risk of being painfully obvious, McHale is clearly unhappy w Asik. If going with Smith wasn't clear enough, returning to Jones is.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 15, 2013
As expected, Smith will not be returning to this game.
Rockets Greg Smith getting X-rays to his right knee right now. Will not return.— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 15, 2013
Losing Smith may not seem like a big deal at first, but with Asik clearly in the doghouse, the Rockets could certainly use some extra frontcourt depth.
Follow Christopher Walder on Twitter @WalderSports