Josh Smith was right after all. He will be going into that dreaded MRI tube to get his injured right knee looked at.
The Atlanta Hawks announced that Smith will have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury to the MCL of his right knee. Atlanta's defensive spark plug and shot block machine hurt the knee in Monday night's game against the Denver Nuggets when he banged knees with Denver's J.R. Smith with 7:44 left in the second quarter.
Josh Smith returned to the game in the final minutes of the half, but did not play after the break. Team officials initially diagnosed the injury as merely a sprain and declared J-Smoove "day-to-day." Smith told AJC beatwriter Michael Cunningham that he thought he was going to have to have an MRI on the injured knee, but team officials initially ruled out any further tests.
With Josh Smith still having difficultly going through drills on Wednesday, they sent him to the doctor. He will not play on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls.
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.
Atlanta can ill afford to have Josh Smith out for very long. The Hawks, who play 10 of their next 11 at home, have a difficult March schedule, which includes the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hawks also faceoff against the Bulls three times over the next three weeks.