Celtics' Marcus Smart '100% Confident' He'll Play in World Cup After Calf Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2019

ANAHEIM, CA  - AUGUST 16:  Marcus Smart #40 of Team USA warms up before the game against Team Spain on August 16, 2019 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE  (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

Marcus Smart has no doubt about his ability to return for Team USA before the start of the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup despite a calf injury. 

During the NBA TV broadcast of the United States' exhibition game against Spain, Smart said he's "100 percent confident" he will play in the World Cup. 

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Aug. 7 that Smart was out indefinitely due to calf tightness. 

Following Team USA's practice Wednesday, head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters the Boston Celtics guard was day-to-day. 

“He’s going to be a day-to-day type of thing,” Popovich said. “Probably won’t practice the next couple of days I wouldn’t think.”

The United States' roster for the World Cup has completely changed as players have withdrawn for a variety of reasons. Anthony Davis, James Harden, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Bradley Beal are among the players who opted not to take part in this year's event. 

Smart was named one of 17 finalists for the American squad by national team managing director Jerry Colangelo. He previously won gold medals on the Under-18 team at the Americas Championship in 2012 and with the Under-19 team at the 2013 World Championships. 

Team USA will open the 2019 FIBA World Cup on Sept. 1 against the Czech Republic. 

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