Injury history and updates from Marcus Smart

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart suffered two injuries in Game 1 of the 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals, adding to a long list of previous injuries.

The Milwaukee Bucks opened the Eastern Conference Semifinals series with a bang, defeating the Boston Celtics 101-89.

While Giannis Antetokounmpo deserves credit for playing at the MVP level, it’s also true that multiple injuries to Boston Celtics shooter Marcus Smart affected the outcome of the game.

Smart didn’t have to be sidelined for long, but by the time Game 1 was over, Celtics head coach Ime Udoka revealed the NBA Defensive Player of the Year was injured more than he cared to admit.

Smart remains an unknown for the remainder of this series, but considering his injury history may shed some light on whether or not he’s dealt with it before and how quickly he usually heals from various injuries.

Marcus Smart injury updates

As of now, Smart will miss Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals with a quad contusion.

Marcus Smart injury history

Over the course of his seven-year NBA career, Smart has suffered a significant number of injuries ranging from hand injuries to oblique lacerations.

Quad contusion, May 1, 2022

To open a playoff series with the Milwaukee Bucks, Smart was injured by two hits: one to his shoulder and one to his quad.

While his shoulder was found to be fine, the bruise on his thigh was a cause for concern.

Smart was officially eliminated from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series on May 3.

Here’s how Celtics coach Ime Udoka described the injury:

“It’s bruised. I would say more than pain tolerance. It’s something that will be stiff. He’s been scored twice there and he’s had that in the past where he’s obviously had to miss a couple of games this year. So it’s more than just pain tolerance, there’s also some tightness and some limitation in movement.”

Sprained ankle, February 15, 2022

According to 98.5 The Sports Hub, Smart was “driving to the basket in the second quarter” when he “landed on the foot of Sixers center Joel Embiid and immediately had trouble putting weight on his left leg.”

The team described it as a “right ankle sprain,” and Smart was absent for the team’s Feb. 16 game. He returned to court on February 24.

COVID disease and reconditioning, January 11, 2022

Smart missed several games in January 2022 due to a second bout of COVID. Smart, who became one of the first NBA players to contract COVID in March 2020, missed six straight games due to his COVID diagnosis and needing reconditioning following his illness.

Hand injury, December 27, 2021

This wasn’t the first-hand injury of Smart’s career, but it wasn’t the worst either. Smart sustained the laceration during a Christmas Day loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. Although Coach Udoka described the laceration as a “nasty cut”, Smart was back on the pitch until December 31st.

Illness, October 29, 2021

Though Smart wouldn’t say it was the same as Jordan’s legendary “Flu Game,” he did play through an Oct. 25 game to earn a win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Unfortunately, the stomach problem that made him ill sidelined him for an Oct. 30 game against the Washington Wizards. In this case, the illness Smart had run through the squad a bit, sidelining Robert Williams, among others.

Calf bruise, May 12, 2021

When Smart ended the season, he suffered a contused calf. According to the Celtics blog, this “wasn’t the same calf that took a beating from the injury he sustained in late January that kept him out until the All-Star break.”

Smart was absent for the last three regular season games but returned in the 2020-21 playoffs on May 22.

Illness, April 19, 2021

Smart did not dress for a game against the Chicago Bulls because of a non-COVID illness that also knocked out Kemba Walker that night.

Calf strain, January 30, 2021

During a Jan. 30 game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Smart suffered a non-contact calf injury, a telltale sign of a worrying tendon rupture.

Smart was out for the remainder of the game with a strained calf, and while the injury was not a torn Achilles tendon, the strained calf kept Smart off the pitch for several weeks. Smart didn’t return until March 11, 2021.

Right thumb, January 4, 2021

According to the Boston Herald, Smart fell during a Monday game against the Toronto Raptors because of a “torn right thumb that was surgically repaired two years ago.” That would be a reference to the torn thumb tendon that Smart injured during a game in March 2018, causing him to miss the remainder of the 2017-18 regular season.

Smart also missed that game with a sore right shoulder.

Silence, August 12, 2020

With the delayed playoff season resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 NBA season rolled into August — and the Celtics decided to rest their top six players ahead of a game with the Washington Wizards. Of course, this also included Smart.

Illness, March 2, 2020

Shortly before Smart became one of the first NBA players to test positive for coronavirus on March 20, 2020, he fell out with an illness on March 2.

Quad contusion, February 2, 2020

Celtics Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart were absent through injuries for a February 3 matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Smart retired with a quadriceps bruise.

Left hand sprain, January 25, 2020

Ahead of a January game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Smart was ruled questionable with a left hand sprain.

Eye infection, December 9, 2019

Smart was sidelined by a dangerous case of viral conjunctivitis that spread from one eye to the other. In fact, the infection was so severe that Celtic’s blog reported that it “threatened the loss of part of his vision or even total blindness.” Smart even said it was “the worst case of viral conjunctivitis they’ve seen.”

Belly, December 1, 2019

Smart suffered an abdominal injury during a game against the New York Knicks when he collided with Kevin Knox as Knox drove to the basket.

Sprained right ankle, November 18, 2019

Shortly after the start of the 2019/20 season, Marcus Smart was out with a “scary non-contact right ankle sprain”. Fortunately, the ankle sprain had “minimal swelling” after the game.

Oblique left view, April 8, 2019

Smart ended one of the healthiest and most productive seasons of his career on a disappointing note: his game was interrupted by a left oblique tear. Smart, expected to miss 4-6 weeks, returned on May 6, but the Milwaukee Bucks still won the playoff series 4-1.

Illness, March 13, 2019

In March, Smart and Daniel Theis did not play against the Sacramento Kings as they were both recovering from illness. At this point, Smart had only missed one game all season, also due to illness.

Illness, January 14, 2019

Smart was ruled out of a Brooklyn Nets game in January 2019 because of an “unspecified illness.”

Torn thumb tendon, March 12, 2018

Once again, Smart’s physical game led to injury and cost him a chance to finish the season strong. In March 2018, Smart bent his right thumb backwards while diving for a loose ball. The injury caused him to miss the remainder of the 2017-2018 regular season and part of the first series of the NBA Playoffs. Ironically, Smart came off the bench and helped his team take the lead over the Milwaukee Bucks, who went 4-3 in the series.

Hand injury, January 24, 2018

Smart suffered a significant hand injury that caused him to miss 11 games between January 24 and February 14.

According to a 2018 report, “The 23-year-old guard cut his right hand on a picture frame after ‘wiping and hitting a picture frame on the wall,’ according to a tweet Smart am The incident occurred in his Beverly Hills hotel room during a Celtics trip to the West Coast on Jan. 26.

Smart later told Zach Lowe that this injury, which involved broken glass shooting into his shooting hand, could have ended his career. According to a 2019 story from, “The piece of glass reportedly got caught between two tendons near his right pinky finger, which could have been debilitating had Smart not been so lucky.”

Illness, January 17, 2018

At that point, Smart was out due to illness along with Guerschon Yabusele and Abdel Nader. Former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens reminded fans to “wash their hands” as he addressed the touchline of those three players.

Sore ankle, October 20, 2017

On October 20, 2017, Smart was listed as injured with a sore ankle. According to Smart, he “injured his ankles in a collision with Jaylen Brown.”

Ankle Injury, October 19, 2016

An ankle injury sustained in a preseason game kept Smart out for the season opener of the 2016-17 NBA season.

It was the same ankle that Smart sprained in 2014, but that injury wasn’t that serious. However, it kept him from playing until November 2.

Luckily, Smart only missed the first three games of the season and was healthy for the rest of the 2016-17 season.

Left lower leg injury, November 2015

Smart injured his lower left leg in late November 2015, leading ESPN to wonder if he’s “prone to injury” or not.

Sprained big toe, fall 2015

Smart missed three games in late 2015 due to a big toe sprain.

Achilles tribe, December 2014

Smart strained his Achilles heel and missed two games as a result.

Ankle injury, November 2014

Smart injured his ankle and missed 10 games as a result.

In this 2015 ESPN article, former Celtics basketball president Danny Ainge said the following about Smart:

“Well, hey, listen, if you get hurt, that’s what it is,” Ainge said. “There’s not really a lot of speculation. At the age of 21 he has shown a tendency to injure himself. That doesn’t mean this will be a pattern for his entire career, but time will tell.”

If time is any indication, Smart’s physical game clearly comes at a price. Not enough to stop him from winning NBA honors, but certainly enough to thrash him over the years. Injury history and updates from Marcus Smart

John Verrall

John Verrall is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. John Verrall joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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