Missouri lost freshman forward Mitchell Smith for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, Tigers announced Thursday.
Smith has what was termed a “significant” left ACL injury that was revealed in an MRI exam on Thursday. He played action in 11 games this season, averaging 7.5 minutes, 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds.
A 3-star recruit in the Class of 2016, Smith was as the No. 4 prospect from the state of Arizona, according to 247Sports.
Wednesday, Smith was injured in the first half of an 88-77 loss to LSU. Before the game, Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk published a vote of confidence for coach Kim Anderson. The Tigers are 5-8, having lost their past five games. Now 0-1 in the SEC, Missouri visits Georgia on Saturday.
Smith’s injury further weakens the Tigers, especially in the front court. According to The Columbia Tribune, starting center Russell Woods played through back spasms on Wednesday. And, Reed Nikko left the game with an apparent left ankle injury. Nikko missed four games earlier this season with a high ankle sprain.
Earlier this week, former Tigers player Willie Jackson announced he transferred to Toledo.
Statement from Mizzou head coach Kim Anderson:
“Unfortunately, Mitchell Smith will be out for the remainder of the season due to a significant ACL injury in his left knee. He will have surgery soon and begin the rehabilitation process with our medical and training staff. Mitchell has been an absolutely outstanding representative of the Mizzou Basketball program this season. He has always brought a tireless work ethic and incredible willingness to learn on a daily basis, and we have no doubt that will continue as he works to recover from this setback. We will support Mitchell the whole way, and I hope all Mizzou fans do the same for a really special member of our Mizzou family.”
Statement from Mizzou freshman forward Mitchell Smith
“It’s definitely hard to hear that your season will be cut short, but the support I’ve received from Coach Anderson, our trainer Pat Beckmann, the team doctors and my teammates has been really comforting. All of my effort this season will now go towards cheering on my teammates and focusing on getting healthy.”