University of Nebraska men’s basketball coach Tim Miles announced Tuesday afternoon that senior forward Leslee Smith has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. The injury was discovered during an MRI examination Tuesday afternoon in Lincoln.
Smith will be out indefinitely, as Miles, men’s basketball athletic trainer R.J. Pietig and the Husker medical staff are currently in the process of developing a timeframe for his surgery and rehabilitation. This is the second time that Smith as torn an ACL, as he tore the ACL in his right knee in March of 2011 when he played at SMU.
Smith, a 6-foot-8 forward from Longlook, British Virgin Islands, suffered the injury on July 3 playing for the British Virgin Islands at the FIBA Caribbean Basketball Championships in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The injury occurred in the first half of an 89-60 loss to the Virgin Islands.
Smith, who averaged 7.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game despite playing just eight minutes in Thursday’s loss before the injury. Prior to the injury, the British Virgin Islands was 2-0 in tournament action, but went winless after Smith’s injury and placed fourth.
As a junior, Smith played in all 32 games for the Huskers, averaging 5.4 points on 52 percent shooting and 4.8 rebounds per game as the Huskers’ first post player off the bench. He was third on the team in rebounding and second in both steals (29) and blocked shots (20). Smith led the Huskers with three double-doubles and had five games with at least 10 rebounds in his first season at Nebraska, as the Huskers went 19-13 on the season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998.