Report: Zhaire Smith ‘in danger’ of missing entire 2018-19 season
The situation involving Philadelphia 76ers rookie Zhaire Smith continues to get stranger and stranger as the months go on. The coveted 2018 first round draft selection didn't dazzle nearly as much as people thought he would during Summer League, but the downfall really began in the months following.
Smith suffered a Jones-fracture in his left foot in August, the same injury Ben Simmons suffered in 2016. However, Smith had a serious allergic reaction to sesame and required thoracoscopy in September. Thoracoscopy is "the insertion of an endoscope, a narrow — diameter tube with a viewing mirror or camera attachment through a very small incision (cut) in the chest wall."
According to a report from The Ringer's John Gonzalez, Smith had lost "upwards of 20 pounds" and may not play during the 2018-19 season. This could make Smith just the latest Sixers draft selection to miss his rookie season due to injury.
Several reports stemming from the November 9 background briefing mentioned that Smith had “lost weight” over the past month and a half, but I was told that he lost “upward of 20 pounds.” For someone who’s listed at 199 pounds on the team website, that’s significant. As is the difference between Smith not playing in 2018, as reported, and “being in danger” of not playing at all this season, which is how it was explained to me. I was also told that he had more than one procedure to address the issue, which is evidently what the Sixers meant by the fuzzy “additional medical treatment” line. (The team had no comment, according to a spokesperson.)
The Sixers' vagueness surrounding an injury of this kind is definitely not surprising in the slightest. The Sixers are notorious for leaving the outside world in utter surprise and confusion when it comes to how bad an injury actually is. Just because of a change in leadership for the Sixers team with Elton Brand at the helm, doesn't change the way player's health is treated behind the scenes.
Basically, with no timetable on Smith's debut with the Sixers because of his allergic reaction and recovery from that procedure mixed with his foot injury that would've likely kept him out until the New Year anyway, there really is no evidence or thought that Smith will return at any point during this season.
Leave it to the 76ers for having a player miss time due to a foot fracture and an allergic reaction.
Josh Liddick is a Sixers contributor to 97.3 ESPN and SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.