It's been more than a week now since Marcus Smart suffered a partial tear of his oblique after colliding with Magic center Nikola Vucevic last Sunday night. The agony the injury has caused though has only started to fade.
“Today was my first day being able to walk without grimacing in any pain,” Smart said Tuesday at the Auerbach Center. “It still hurts real bad to laugh, cough or sneeze. But the everyday stuff is getting better walking, getting out of bed and things like that. So making great progress, but unfortunately, there’s nothing really anybody can do.”
Smart is just one week into a 4-6 weeks recovery timetable for his return to basketball activities, a span that may be on the optimistic side according to BSJ's medical expert Dr. Jessica Flynn. For now, Smart is just limited to rest and gradual work in a pool to start improving his range of motion.
“It’s getting in the pool a lot to really keep going," Smart explained. "It’s light on your body. Even in the pool it’s a little tender but I’m able to do a lot more things than I would be able to do out here, because the pool takes a lot of pressure off of you. The next mark to see where I’m at is probably in two weeks, at the four-week mark and hopefully it’s progressed more than now and hopefully I can start running or jogging by then and hopefully shooting a basketball, so that’s my next mark and that’s what I’m trying to get to.”
While some pool work will help, the challenge for Smart now is knowing that he really can't do much on his own to help his progression back to the floor from some a painful injury.