Things have gone far from according to plan for the Memphis Grizzlies during these infancy stages of 2023-24, as they find themselves boasting the worst record in the entire association at 2-9 through 11 games played, which is a stark contrast compared to the top-10 championship odds they came into the season possessing.
Of course, a major catalyst for this unfortunate start has been the team's bevy of key player absences, as Ja Morant, Steven Adams, and Brandon Clarke have all been sidelined to this point in time, with the latter two expected to be held out for the entirety of this year as they recover from a knee and Achilles injury, respectively.
Unfortunately, another vital member of this Grizzlies core has joined the aforementioned bunch on the club's lengthy list of inactive participants, as Marcus Smart has received a rather grueling update regarding his recently sustained foot injury.
Marcus Smart could return to Memphis Grizzlies in '3-5 weeks'
According to Memphis' PR team, the veteran is expected to be sidelined for a prolonged period of time after landing awkwardly on Austin Reaves' foot in the first period against the Los Angeles Lakers on November 14. Diagnosed as a left foot sprain, per the organization, Smart is "expected to return within 3 to 5 weeks."
Acquired via multi-team blockbuster, Smart's arrival in the 38103 was widely praised as being one of the better moves made this past offseason. Unfortunately, the early returns have not managed to live up to these lofty expectations, as some have gone on to chastise the guard's early season production.
With this harsh injury reality, the Grizzlies will likely look to the likes of Jacob Gilyard to continue filling in as the team's starting point guard moving forward and hope that Derrick Rose, who has been out since October 30 due to knee surgery, can return to action sooner rather than later to try and help bolster this already depleted backcourt depth.
Prior to injury, Smart found himself boasting season averages of 12.5 points, 5.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game.