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November 09, 2018

Source: Sixers wing Zhaire Smith not expected to return in 2018

Zhaire Smith is in the process of recovering from additional medical treatment stemming from allergic reactions in late September, and the Sixers do not expect him to return during the calendar year of 2018, a team source told PhillyVoice late Friday evening.

The Sixers released a statement on Smith's recovery on Friday night following their game against the Charlotte Hornets, updating the public on his condition.

Zhaire Smith is recovering well after recieving additional medical treatment for complications derived from the allergic reaction that initially required a thoracoscopy. His return to athletic training has yet to be determined and as such, there is no timetable for his return to play.

The allergic reaction, which was perhaps undercovered at the time it took place in September, was a product of food allergies that were wider in scope than the Sixers or Smith were aware of previously. A team source said they had been aware of a peanut allergy Smith had, and that his food was individually prepared accordingly, but it was discovered Smith has other triggers, with a reaction to sesame specifically, "putting him over the edge."

The Sixers individually prepare his food, but believe it is possible Smith might have taken something from the facility with sesame in it, a source said.

Following Smith's allergic reaction, the team was able to put him through an allergy panel, in which additional allergies were discovered that were not previously known by either Smith or members of his family. The Sixers have since taken the information learned in the allergy panel to change how Smith's food is prepared in every facet of his life, from his time at the practice facility, to team flights, to eating in the comfort of his home, according to a team source.

A source with background on the situation stressed that this change in timetable to return to play was not related to the previous procedure on his foot, and that his foot is still progressing and healing in a normal fashion. 

The Sixers have had physical therapists sent to Smith throughout his recovery process, but he has yet to return to basketball activity. Smith has lost weight during his recovery from the surgery and difficulties that followed. It is expected he will return to basketball activity soon, but a timetable remains unclear.

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