Sixers rookie point guard Zhaire Smith is expected to miss the remainder of 2018 due to complications from an allergic reaction, according to Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philadelphia released a statement on Friday explaining Smith’s status.
“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.”
Smith, the 16th overall pick in the 2018 draft, sustained a left foot injury during a developmental camp in Las Vegas this summer and underwent surgery in August to repair a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal. He was expected to return sometime in late December.
However, during his recovery from the surgery, Smith suffered an allergic reaction in September which resulted in a thoracoscopy. While the team was aware of Smith’s peanut allergy and had food specially prepared for the 19-year-old, neither party was privy to his other allergies, sources told Todd. The thoracoscopy revealed Smith’s allergy to sesame and other foods, Todd noted.
This is the latest in a long list of unusual injuries and conditions that have sidelined Sixers rookies in recent years. Last season, a shoulder issue compromised Markelle Fultz‘s ability to shoot and caused the 2017 first overall pick to miss most of the year. The year prior, Ben Simmons missed the entire season due to surgery to repair a broken foot. The reigning Rookie of the Year was expected to return in December or January that season but the Jones fracture lingered for the entirety of the 2016/17 season.
Former third overall pick, Jahlil Okafor, was involved in a series of off-the-court scuffles in his rookie season and was eventually traded after struggling to solidify a role with the Sixers. Finally, Joel Embiid, who has evolved into one of the NBA’s elite big men, missed his first two NBA seasons due to a rash of injuries.