Celts' Smart has torn oblique, to miss 4-6 weeks

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum celebrates a dunk against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis Friday

The timeframe likely removes Smart from the first two rounds of the National Basketball Association playoffs.

Tatum played in 79 games this season, averaging 15.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals over 31.1 minutes per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor, 37.3 percent from 3-point range and 85.5 percent from the free-throw line. The timetable for Smart's return means he will be sidelined for that series and the second round as well, should the Celtics advance.

Per an official statement from the Celtics, Smart is expected to miss between four and six weeks as an afternoon MRI revealed a "partial avulsion of his left oblique abdominal muscle off of his iliac crest".

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Expect Stevens to go with either Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward - former members of the Celtics' starting lineup - to replace Smart. The 21-year-old's partnership with Kyrie Irving, who will be playing his first playoff match for the Celtics after missing last season with injury, will be key if they are to make a deep run in the playoffs. Smart sustained the injury during the third quarter of Boston's home loss to Orlando on Sunday. And it happened on a unusual play, as Smart collided with Magic center Nikola Vucevic while chasing Evan Fournier down the lane, then crashed to the ground, holding his side. "We've thought ever since he got here that he's one of the best defenders in the league".

Smart's injury will be a definite blow to Boston's defensive efficacy and their off-ball scoring as well.

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