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Celtics' Marcus Smart out 2-3 Weeks with Grade 1 Calf Tear Injury

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2021

Boston Celtics' Marcus Smart plays against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart was diagnosed with a Grade 1 calf tear after going down in Saturday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics confirmed the diagnosis Sunday, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, noting Smart is expected to return in two to three weeks.

The recovery timeline will undoubtedly come as a relief to the Celtics as Smart has avoided a catastrophic injury. Smart needed to be helped off the court and could not walk on his own power after suffering a non-contact injury early in the fourth quarter.

While the Celtics initially diagnosed Smart with a calf strain, the non-contact nature and location of the injury had some fans fearing a worst-case scenario of a ruptured Achilles.

While the Celtics initially diagnosed Smart with a calf strain, the non-contact nature and location of the injury had some fans fearing a worst-case scenario of a ruptured Achilles.

"Yeah, everybody was concerned with his health," Celtics guard Jaylen Brown told reporters after the game. "And he just, trying to do our best to redirect that energy, because when one guy goes down, we've got to step up.

"Marcus is essential to our team, man—he's been great. Whether the numbers show it or not, Marcus has been a leader on this team; he's been somebody that has been looking to get guys the ball in the right spots, including me. So to have him go down in the middle of the game like that, definitely had everybody concerned. Hopefully, the MRI is negative and we get him and we can get some wins on the road."

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Smart is averaging 13.1 points, 6.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds this season. He's taken on an increased role as a lead ball-handler with Kemba Walker missing most of the first month after undergoing a stem-cell procedure on his knee.

The Celtics will likely lean more heavily on Walker in Smart's absence but will miss their best on-ball defender. 

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