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Mark Smith to have ankle surgery; Out for the remainder of the season

The announcement isn’t a surprising move considering the recent moves from the team.

NCAA Basketball: Morehead State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Smith is done for the year.

Last night on his Instagram Live Smith said he was planning on having surgery to correct his ankle injury, one that has bothered him since High School but was re-aggravated in the first Arkansas game this season.

Dave Matter confirmed the news this morning through a team spokesman:

After the injury, which didn’t look bad on video, Smith lost the next six games and when he came back he wasn’t the same guy — likely because it was an injury which extended to his high school days. He played 14 minutes against Ole Miss scoring just three points, then followed that up with 21 minutes and no points against Kentucky.

-Smith was shut down again against Florida and the prognosis didn’t look good at the time for a return. Then the news today.

Mizzou is obviously going to miss the production, both offensively and defensively, from Smith. He had the ability to boost offense with his shooting ability and had the teams highest Offensive Rating at 117.1. But he was also often tasked with defending the opponents best offensive player and held the highest Defensive Rebounding rate on the team as well. Losing Smith for the remainder of the season means the Tigers will continue to rely heavily on Torrence Watson and Javon Pickett to fill the scoring load.

But this is the right move for the future of the program.

Removing Smith from the lineup hurts Missouri’s prospects this year, but the team is largely going nowhere and he’s a very important part of the future. Taking him out now kickstarts the rehab process on something that’s been bothering him since high school, and gets him more ready for the offseason and into next year, where the Tigers will try to rebound from this years disappointing season with a healthy Smith, the addition of Dru Smith, and an influx of talent in the freshman class.