Just weeks after Butler star Rotnei Clarke returned from his neck injury, the Bulldogs will now be down another one of their key contributors for this week.
Senior forward Andrew Smith will reportedly miss the next two games for the Bulldogs while recovering from an abdominal injury.
Smith was injured in the team’s victory over George Washington this past weekend, a game that moved Butler to 20-4 overall and 7-2 within the Atlantic 10 Conference. Smith has been an important part of the Bulldogs’ success over the years, including their runs to back-to-back National Championship games a few years ago.
Now as a senior, Smith is the team’s anchor down low, as the Bulldogs are gearing up for another late run within the NCAA Tournament. Therefore, his health moving forward will be crucial.
On the season, Smith is averaging 11.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. His effort in the paint and on the glass will be tough to replace this week, especially with Charlotte coming to town on Wednesday. Butler will then head to Fordham this upcoming weekend.
Although the injury is something that Smith and Butler would ultimately like to avoid as a whole, his week long recovery is well worth it considering what has happened. Head coach Brad Stevens will be looking for others to step up this week with Smith being held to the sidelines.
This may even have to come from the perimeter, as the pressure to score the basketball even more than usual could be in play.
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