Marcus Smart officially out four to six weeks with torn oblique


Boston is set to face IN in the first round of the National Basketball Association playoffs.

The Boston Celtics said Wednesday that guard Marcus Smart will be sidelined 4 to 6 weeks after being diagnosed with a partial tear to his left oblique abdominal muscle.

This comes from the injury that Smart suffered in Sunday's loss to the Orlando Magic in the Celtics' final game of the regular season.

Smart is now expected to return to basketball activities in four to six weeks, according to the team. In 80 appearances this season, Smart averaged 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and four assists per. Boston would add that contact with Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who's listed at 7-foot-0, 260 pounds, midway through the third quarter of Sunday's contest is what led to Smart's injury.

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Smart, 25, has had a career season for the Celtics, after signing a four-year, $52 million contract as a restricted free agent last summer.

Ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics, who tote a 49-33 record, will face the resilient 48-34 Indiana Pacers in the opening round of the playoffs. And it happened on a unusual play, as Smart collided with Magic center Nikola Vucevic while chasing Evan Fournier down the lane, then crashed to the ground, holding his side.

He recently won the Red Auerbach award for the first time, the team's honor for which player best exemplifies being a Celtic. Eventually, he got to his feet and, with the help of trainers, hobbled to the locker room.

Smart's injury will be a definite blow to Boston's defensive efficacy and their off-ball scoring as well.