Celtics Star Confirms He’s Still Recovering From Playoff Injury

Payton Pritchard, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Payton Pritchard, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, and Al Horford of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics got quite the scare in Game 3 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals when Marcus Smart went down in pain following what looked like a severe ankle injury. Smart would then return to play out the rest of the game against the Miami Heat three minutes later.

Smart would go on to miss Game 4 because of the ankle injury but would play out the rest of the Celtics’ playoff games from there on out. However, it appears the ankle injury stuck with him until the very end. In a recent interview with Bobby Manning of CLNS Media, Smart confirmed that he’s been recovering all summer from the ankle injury during the Eastern Conference Finals.

“(I’m) a little banged up from last year,” Smart told Manning. “My ankle is feeling better. It’s still healing, so I’m dealing with that. I’m just giving it as much rest as I can, but definitely back on the court, definitely back into the action. It felt like yesterday, we just finished playing… I’m definitely doing everything I can for next season and to go deeper.”

When Manning asked Smart how close to 100 percent he was, Smart said he was “pretty close.”

Smart’s Thoughts on Danilo Gallinari’s Injury

Manning asked Smart for his thoughts on Gallinari’s injury following the confirmation that he suffered an ACL tear. Smart voiced his disappointment in the injury, but also his faith in the other players on the roster who can step up in Gallinari’s place.

“When I seen and heard (about) it, it was just devastating,” Smart said. “You never want to see anybody get hurt. Let alone on your team, but anybody. Somebody like Gallo, who was coming in and was going to help us tremendously. It definitely pushes us back a little bit, but it’s the NBA, we’re professionals, we have other guys on the roster, and it’s time for them to step up.”

After the reports came out on July 1 that Gallinari and Malcolm Brogdon were coming to Boston, Smart was among the first Celtics to welcome them aboard.

Shams Charania reported that the timeframe for Gallinari’s recovery could be from six to 12 months, although Gallinari is reportedly determined to return to the court before the 2022-23 season ends.

Smart Sounds Off on Malcolm Brogdon Addition

Manning asked Smart how he fits with new addition Malcolm Brogdon, and Smart could not hold back his excitement when talking about how the two could play together.

“I think it’s going to be great,” Smart said. “I love his game. I love everything he brings… He allows me to be the better version of myself. I think it’s a perfect fit. He provides some of the things that we’re going to need, and it definitely takes the pressure off of me, Jayson and Jaylen.”

That feeling is clearly mutual with Brogdon himself. In an interview with Spencer Davies of Basketball News, Brogdon voiced his belief that he can take pressure off Tatum and Brown.

“I think I can just relieve pressure. Whether that’s touching the paint, getting ’em easy shots. Whether that’s guarding players that they need a break on the defensive end [against] so they can focus on offense.”

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