Sixers: Zhaire Smith will not return in 2018 due to ‘complications’ from allergic reaction
Team source says additional complications after food allergy procedure have delayed Smith's return.
Do not expect to see Zhaire Smith on the basketball court anytime soon, at least not during 2018.
The 76ers are no stranger to rookie injuries, especially ones that keep their rookies sidelined for prolonged amounts of time. The Sixers are also familiar with bizarre injuries and situations that can be categorized as anything but typical. Smith has firmly been added to that list.
On Friday night the Sixers released a medical update on Smith.
"Zhaire Smith is recovering well after receiving additional medical treatment for complications derived from the allergic reaction that initially required a thoracoscopy," the statement read. "His return to athletic training has yet to be determined and as such, there is no timetable for his return to play."
According to a team source, the timetable has been pushed into 2019 and even then it's not certain.
"Next year we'll see," the source said.
Smith was sidelined over the summer after suffering a fracture in his left foot. His return date was originally expected to be sometime in December. While recovering from surgery, a food-related allergic reaction in September required Smith to have a thoracoscopy.
Team sources said that Smith and his family knew he had a peanut allergy, and meals were individually prepared at the team facility with that allergy in mind, but neither Smith or the Sixers were aware of other allergies. Following the thoracoscopy, a full allergy panel revealed that Smith is allergic to sesame and a host of other foods.
"He may have taken something with sesame in it from the facility," the team source said.
Complications from the original thoracoscopy procedure have led to weight loss for Smith, have kept him from being able to eat properly, regain muscle loss, and return to any intensified conditioning and in turn he has not done any on-court work.
"There's been no basketball yet. Usually with the foot, the Jones fracture, you can do some light cardio, some elliptical, and he hasn't done any of that," the team source said.
Smith is expected to return to basketball activity soon, and all reports from physical therapists and team doctors indicate that recovery from Smith's initial foot surgery is going as scheduled with no setbacks. But, because of the complications that arose following the thoracoscopy, the rookie's return schedule has been delayed.