UPDATE (9:15 p.m.): Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens provided an update on Marcus Smart’s knee injury ahead of Thursday’s game against the Sacramento Kings in Mexico City. It wasn’t good news.
ORIGINAL STORY: Remember that extended timetable we gave Marcus Smart for his return from a knee injury? Looks like it’s getting extended even further.
The Boston Celtics point guard is still likely “another few weeks” from returning to game action, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday during a radio appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time with Marcus over the last couple of days and he’s been working out and doing his therapy,” Ainge said, via ESPN.com. “I don’t know a timetable, you never know, Marcus will be the only one that will know when his leg will be completely healed.
“But the good news is there’s no surgery needed; it’s more like a bad sprain and he just needs time to get it healthy. It’d still probably be another few weeks, I’d guess.”
That isn’t exactly reassuring news for Smart, who suffered a subluxation of the proximal tib-fib joint in his left knee 13 days ago, on Nov. 20. Head coach Brad Stevens originally said Smart could miss roughly two weeks, but clarified last Wednesday that timetable was “more of a minimum.”
Stevens seemed optimistic Smart would return shortly after Boston’s road trip, which ends Monday, but Ainge’s latest comments suggest the 21-year-old might not be ready until later in the month.
Ainge also said recently he believes Smart has been a bit injury prone in his young career. He stressed Thursday that’s not the result of any negative traits, however.
“He wants to play and he loves to play,” Ainge added. “He provides a great spark and that’s why his teammates love him so much because he plays at a different level. And that may also be why he’s been hurt a few times already. He plays at a different level than most players play.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images