Marcus Smart is the heart and soul of the Boston Celtics – and that’s how he plays. Most recently, Smart injured his ankle badly, but still helped lead his team to the NBA Finals against Golden State. Before the start of the final series, he now spoke about his injury.

Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart injured his ankle in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. The 28-year-old Celtics guard landed unhappily on his ankle after jumping off to grab an offensive rebound. Smart had to be carried off the pitch before making a surprise return shortly after.

Smart then missed Game 4 of the series but managed to complete the rest of the series and help the Celtics beat the Heat in seven games. Smart averaged 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists in the series with a 36.0 percent shot rate from the field.

Ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Smart opened up about the severity of his ankle injury and how he’s dealing with it at this crucial point in the playoffs.

“The ankle is a pretty serious injury,” Smart told reporters. “I’m grateful to be able to play let alone walk. It hurt, but my mom always told me when you were up When you’re on the pitch, you can’t make excuses. If you’re hurt, you have to sit down. When I’m out there, no matter how much pain I’m in, I can’t let it affect me.”

Originally Posted by “NBA Star So Injured Before Finals, Says ‘Grateful I Can Walk'” is from OpenCourt Basketball.