Celtics’ Marcus Smart Details Calf Injury, Recovery Process

'We'd rather be safe than sorry'


February 12, 2021

It’s almost been two weeks exactly since Marcus Smart left a game against the Los Angeles Lakers after a non-contact injury in the fourth quarter.

He subsequently was ruled out for 2-3 weeks with with a Grade 1 tear in his left calf.

Brad Stevens on Tuesday provided an update of sorts on Smart’s condition after Boston returned from a five-game trip to the west coast, revealing there isn’t yet a timeline for the All-Defensive First Teamer.

Speaking to the media for the first time since before the calf strain, Smart detailed his progress so far.

“Each day I’m feeling better,” Smart said in his availability before the Celtics’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Friday. “Obviously no where near to where we wanted to be but we knew that. Really just taking it slow. Taking it day-by-day. There’s really know big timeline I can give because, like I said, we’re taking it day-by-day. It’s only been what, tomorrow makes two weeks? So 14 days? My body is definitely healing the way that we expected it to but it’s definitely going to take some time. We’d rather be safe than sorry.”

The guard clarified on his comments about not being where he wants to be. He said he means as a competitor, he wants to be back on the court as soon as possible. Referring to where he and the Celtics medical staff thought he’d be at this point, Smart says the recovery is ahead of schedule.

He recalled the non-contact injury, going up for a block and feeling and hearing his leg pop. When he planted his foot to jump and attempt another block, a second pop sent a burning sensation up his leg.

Smart was just thankful it wasn’t an Achilles tear, though he immediately knew it wasn’t.

“It still hurts like hell but like I said, I’m blessed that it was nothing worse.”

Smart is doing light basketball activities now, like getting shots up in the gym, running at about 30-to-40% and doing balance work. He’s mostly undergoing a lot of testing and calf strengthening exercises and working towards being able to go all out again, with his mind and body earning trust back from one another.

“It’s just kind of one of those things that happens, you know,” Smart said. “The stars aligned the right way. You know, my calf gave out. I probably wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with how quick a turnaround from playing in the bubble and then coming back, with that aspect. But who knows?”

Smart originally was anticipated to return around Feb. 20, give or take a few days.

We’ll see how things progress over the next week after the Celtics and Pistons tip off at 8 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images
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