Celtics notebook

Injuries continue to mount for ailing Marcus Smart

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) draws contact reaching in against  New York Knicks’ bullish forward Julius Randle during the first half of Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) draws contact reaching in against New York Knicks’ bullish forward Julius Randle during the first half of Sunday’s game at Madison Square Garden.Sarah Stier/Associated Press/FR171690 AP via AP

NEW YORK — Add two more injuries to the litany of ailments Marcus Smart has been dealing with this season.

Shortly after returning from taking a shot to the eye, Smart was struck in the abdomen area and left for good during the third quarter of the Celtics’ 113-104 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Smart, who is also nursing a hand injury, tried taking a charge from New York’s Kevin Knox and got the worst of the collision and had to be helped to the locker room by two Celtics officials.

Smart was seen walking to the team bus on his own after the game but it’s uncertain if he will play Wednesday night against the Miami Heat at TD Garden.


“I don’t know if it was his oblique or right in that area, and they said it wasn’t as bad as it was in the past,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. “I’m sure we’ll get more information.”

Smart missed a month late last season with a torn left oblique and he revealed recently he underwent surgery for a sports hernia in the offseason. He has also been wearing a protective wrap on his hand when he’s not playing and said Friday he would have to consult with team trainers if the injury got worse.

Stevens happy in Hub

Stevens was asked, in the middle of his seventh season with the Celtics, whether he ever considers returning to coach in college. Stevens follows college basketball closely, especially his former Butler club, but he said he’s comfortable and content with the Celtics.

“No, I wouldn’t say that I think about going back,” he said. “I really enjoy the NBA game. I enjoy the NBA level. I’ve said many times there are pros and cons to both. But I also recognize I work in one of the best places in the world and for one of the best organizations in the world, so my hope and goal all center around what we can accomplish here.”


Setback for Langford

Celtics first-round pick Romeo Langford sprained his right ankle in G-League’s Maine’s win over Long Island, another injury in what is becoming a bad-luck rookie season for Langford. He missed all of the Las Vegas Summer League recovering from a wrist injury sustained at Indiana University and then missed a chunk of training camp with a bruised knee.

Langford was just coming back from a left ankle sprain when he was assigned to Maine on Saturday after recovering from a right ankle sprain. Langford scored 14 points in 17 minutes prior to the injury.

Kanter makes return

It was Enes Kanter’s first game back at Madison Square Garden since the Knicks waived him on Feb. 7 after the club decided to go with Mitchell Robinson as their primary center. Kanter said he looked forward to playing in New York, where he was popular with the media and the fans and he received a polite ovation when he entered the game in the first period.

“When he was in our building, he brought a great spirit to the practices and great energy and all the guys really enjoyed him,” said Knicks coach David Fizdale. “He’s a competitor and he’s a bowling ball; he loves contact, he loves to hit. We really had a fun time together while he was here. I know it was difficult circumstances where we were at toward the end, but I only have fond memories coaching Enes.”


Kanter played nearly 16 minutes and finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds (six offensive). He shared an embrace and conversation with Fizdale after the game.

“There’s no hard feelings; I wish him the best,” Kanter said. “Like I said, it’s a process and in a few years [the Knicks] are going to be a dangerous team.”

Morris has to sit out

Former Celtic Marcus Morris missed the game after experiencing back spasms following Friday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Morris was replaced in the lineup by the struggling Knox and he responded with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 22 minutes . . . Jaylen Brown attempted just eight shots in Friday’s loss to Brooklyn, his lowest since the season-opening loss to Philadelphia when he was saddled with foul trouble. Brown attempted eight shots in his first 13 minutes of action Sunday and finished with 14 first-half points . . . Robert Williams tried a behind-the-back, no-look pass after chasing down a rebound in the second period. Taj Gibson intercepted the pass and coasted for a two-handed dunk. Williams was removed after the next stoppage and did not return. Stevens said it wasn’t a punishment, but that he wanted to go with more offense at center . . . Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina left the game after seven minutes with upper back soreness. His minutes were taken up by former third overall pick Dennis Smith Jr., who scored 17 points with seven assists.


Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GwashburnGlobe.