Josh Smith hurt his right knee midway through the second period in the Atlanta Hawks' 100-90 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday. Ever the warrior, with his team tenuously holding onto a second quarter lead, he dusted himself off and played the game he loves with just over three minutes left in the frame.
After talking to the Hawks' television broadcast at the break, Atlanta's should-be All-Star hobbled his way down to the Atlanta locker room. Unfortunately for the Hawks, he never returned.
As of right now, the initial diagnosis for Smith is just a sprained MCL.
The good news is that Smith looked like he was OK when Hawks VP of Public Relations Arthur Triche spoke with the Atlanta star in the third quarter.
"Just spoke with Smith in the locker room," Triche tweeted. "Appears to be fine, held out of the rest of this one as a precautionary measure."
The bad news is that SportSouth's sideline reporter Jerome Jurenovich reported that J-Smoove was still "walking gingerly" after the game.
MCL injuries are tricky. The Portland Trail Blazers' Marcus Camby returned to action after missing a little bit over a month when he faced the Hawks on Sunday. That injury, which originally wasn't thought of as serious required surgery for a partially torn meniscus upon further review.
Smith likely has a date with the MRI machine sometime this week.
Hopefully, everything will end up OK. The Hawks can ill afford to lose their defensive co-anchor, shot blocker and scorer. Especially this time of the year, with teams like the Chicago Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers looming on the schedule.