WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart will not accompany the team to Philadelphia for Monday's game against the 76ers after suffering a left Achilles strain during Friday's loss to the New York Knicks.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there is a chance that Smart will be ready to play on Wednesday when the team returns home for a visit from the Orlando Magic.
Smart appeared to strain his Achilles taking a charge early in the second quarter of Friday's game. He initially remained on the floor, but soon limped to the locker room with team doctors. The injury appears to be a short-term issue, but the team is proceeding with caution after Smart missed 10 games last month due to a left ankle sprain and bone bruising.
Stevens was asked if the injury being on the same foot meant a possible connection.
"Without having any medical background, I can’t answer that. I have no idea," Stevens said. "From what I heard, it was a separate incident in the game. But as a guy that had sprained ankles multiple times myself ... you get some soreness in the Achilles anyway. So is there any connection? Not that I know of. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a small relation there."
Stevens knows that Smart must be frustrated while trying to get healthy enough to stay on the court.
"It’s frustrating, but he’s a really important part of our team," Stevens said. "And a really important part of our future. So we’re all anxious for him. He’s certainly frustrated by just getting back and then not being able to play again."
• Bradley back at practice: Celtics starting shooting guard Avery Bradley returned to practice Sunday after missing Friday's game due to illness. Bradley said he initially feared food poisoning after feeling sick last week, but still had planned to play on Friday. When he arrived to the Garden with a fever, the team sent him home to avoid spreading his sickness. Bradley said he came to the practice facility early Sunday to ride the exercise bike and get in a workout before the team's session. "I feel good right now," he said before practice. Added Stevens: "It’ll be good for him to get a sweat going in practice today."
• Faverani progress report: Stevens said there was little update on second-year center Vitor Faverani. The team had hoped to have him back on the floor by mid-December with the goal of ramping up his basketball activities for a return to game action in the new calendar year. But that timeline might be moving back again. "He is getting a little bit better, which is good, and is increasing his workload, but not on the court yet," Stevens said. Faverani hasn't been on the court for real basketball activities since February when he injured his left knee during an appearance with the Maine Red Claws in the D-League. He's undergone two surgeries since, including one in October after his initial attempt to return stalled in training camp.
• Bradley feels for Smart, Shumpert: Bradley watched Friday's game from home while recovering and felt even worse watching both Smart and Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (dislocated shoulder) depart with injuries. "It’s bad," Bradley said. "I’ve hurt my ankle and came back and had to leave again, just like Marcus. And I hurt my shoulder, just like Shumpert. So I felt bad for both of them." Bradley said he knows that Smart must be anxious, particularly this early in his NBA career, but would advise him to put his health first. "I hope that he gets healthy, and I know he will because he’s a hard worker and he listens to [trainer] Ed [Lacerte] and those guys," Bradley said. "They will help him get healthy and get him back out on the court."