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Celtics' Marcus Smart exits game with abdominal injury

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has another injury to concern him with, it seems, after suffering one in Sunday’s 113-104 road win against the New York Knicks.

He was ruled out in the third quarter after taking what the Celtics termed a “a direct blow to the abdomen” in trying to take a charge from the Knicks’ Kevin Knox.

After the game, Smart said the injury is to his left oblique, which is the same oblique injury that caused him to miss the first round of the 2019 playoffs. He eventually returned in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks, but was decidedly not his full self in that series. Aside from this recent injury, Smart has been dealing with hip, ankle and finger injuries all season as well.

It was initially thought Smart injured his hip on Sunday, but he corrected that notion as he left for the team bus.

“No, just in my oblique,” he said, per the Boston Herald. “Right in the same spot that I tore last season. It wasn’t as bad as the tear, but it’s still sore and pretty tender. We’re just going to take it slow and day by day re-evaluate it (Monday), and see what we have to do.”

Smart didn’t have surgery on his injury last season, but said there is still scar tissue in the area of that oblique injury. When asked if it might be time for him to miss a game or more to allow himself to heal up, Smart said (per the Boston Herald): “I think so. I think that might be it. That might be my final straw. We’ll see how it goes.”

Aside from the oblique injury, Smart also took a shot to the eye from the Knicks’ Damyean Dotson as well in Sunday’s game.

Per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, the Celtics are also hoping to get an update on the status of Gordon Hayward sometime Monday. Hayward has been out since Nov. 11 following surgery to repair a fractured bone in his left hand. He took part in 5-on-0, non-contact portions of practice on Saturday and was shooting before Sunday’s game as team owner Wyc Grousbeck looked on. Per Bontemps, Hayward is scheduled to have a FaceTime consultation with his doctor Monday to determine whether or not he can return to contract practice.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.