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Knee sprain will sideline Celtics’ Jae Crowder for only a few weeks

Jae Crowder scored seven points before leaving the game in the third quarter Sunday.Jim Davis/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

WALTHAM — Celtics forward Jae Crowder told the Globe on Monday that his sprained left knee is expected to sideline him for just a few weeks.

He has undergone one MRI already that confirmed the initial diagnosis, and he said he would undergo one more MRI later in the day.

Crowder injured the knee in the Celtics’ 103-95 Game 4 loss in their playoff series against the Cavaliers Sunday at TD Garden.

With 10:24 remaining in the third quarter, Crowder and Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith were tangling in the post when Smith swung his arm backward and struck Crowder in the face.


Crowder fell, twisted his knee, and had to be helped off the court.

“If that’s what you’d call physical play,” Crowder said as he sat in his car outside the team’s training facility Monday morning. “Cheap shots. But it is what it is.”

Crowder was walking without crutches or other assistance. His left knee was wrapped and he had just a slight limp.

“It’s a tough way for the season to end and a tough way for myself,” Crowder said. “But I’ll be fine.”

Smith was suspended two games for the incident.

During this series and the latter part of the season, Crowder emerged as the Celtics’ emotional leader, and his aggressive play provided a kind of blueprint for the rest of the team. As forward Jonas Jerebko left the training facility Monday, he said he was relieved that Crowder’s injury was not more serious.

“He said the MRI went fine and there’s nothing major, so that’s good news for me and for us and for everybody,” Jerebko said. “You hate to see somebody go down.”

Earlier in Sunday’s game, Crowder was shoved to the floor by Cavaliers forward Kendrick Perkins, who then swiped at Crowder after the two were separated.


“There was nothing malicious about it,” Smith said after Sunday’s game. “I didn’t do anything to try to hurt him.”

Related coverage:

Gary Washburn: Celtics accomplished a lot, but there’s much more to do

Kevin Paul Dupont: Celtics face an important offseason

Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.