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BREAKING: Zhaire Smith fractures left foot, will undergo surgery

The Texas Tech product suffered the injury in a Las Vegas camp ahead of his rookie year with the 76ers

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Dallas Practice Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It looks as if Zhaire Smith’s rookie season will start from the sidelines due to injury. Earlier today the Philadelphia 76ers released a statement with the news of Zhaire suffering a left foot injury, and just hours later Yahoo Sports writer Shams Charania reported that the rookie had fractured his foot.

Smith had an MRI today in Philadelphia that discovered the Jones Fracture, and he will have surgery later this week according to Charania. Zhaire joins fellow rookies Landry Shamet and Shake Milton in suffering injuries for the Sixers. Philadelphia has a history of having first round picks suffer injuries before their rookie season, with Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz all suffering injuries that essentially wiped out their entire rookie year (Fultz did play a bit at the conclusion of last season.) With preseason basketball starting in just over a month, it seems as if Zhaire will be on the back foot heading into his rookie year, and could potentially miss a significant portion of his rookie season.

Smith was a major part of the Red Raiders’ run to the Elite Eight, as he started 21 games and chipped in 11.3 points per game (second on the team) and a team leading 5.0 rebounds a game. Zhaire was a force defensively, ending with 1.1 steals and blocks per game, along with 2.2 defensive win shares. His value, athleticism, and potential was ranked highly during the draft process, and the Philadelphia 76ers acquired him in a draft day trade with the Phoenix Suns at pick 16. Zhaire had a decent summer league for the Sixers, and was expected to be a defensive specialist role player from day one.

NBA: Summer League-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s hope Z has a safe and quick rehab process!