KNOXVILLE — Jacques Smith would have liked to use next week to begin building off his strong spring showing.
The Tennessee defensive end will be beginning the recovery process instead.
Smith will have surgery next week to repair a fractured metatarsal in his right foot. It was broken in Wednesday’s practice, UT director of sports medicine Jason McVeigh said in a university release.
The former Ooltewah High School star is expected to be ready for the beginning of summer workouts in June.
“We do expect him to be full-go by June, which is the summer program,” UT coach Derek Dooley said after Thursday’s practice.
It’s a difficult break for Smith, who had performed well this spring while taking on an expanded role as a starter following a freshman year that showed his promise.
“You train year-round, so any time a guy gets hurt it’s a setback,” Dooley said. “It’s better to do it now than August. When you’re not working out, training, you’re getting behind because your competitors are.”
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...