Nebraska's fears regarding the injury status of Leslee Smith were officially confirmed on Tuesday, as an MRI examination in Lincoln showed the senior power forward had suffered a torn ACL in his left knee while playing for his native British Virgin Islands in the FIBA Caribbean Basketball Championships last week.
In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, head coach Tim Miles said Smith would be out indefinitely while the NU training staff worked to figure out an exact timeframe for his recovery.
The 6-foot-8, 255-pound Smith suffered the non-contact injury while coming down after a layup during the second quarter of a game against the Virgin Islands on Thursday.
It marks the second ACL injury Smith has suffered in the past three years, as he tore his right ACL prior to his freshman season at SMU back in 2011, which forced him to miss the first seven games of the season.
Smith spoke to the Virgin Islands News Online shortly after suffering the injury.
"It's an unfortunate situation," Smith told the publication. "It isn't something that you could really control, it can happen to anybody at anytime… It's just a real unfortunate situation. I really didn't want this to happen. I really don't know what to say. I am kind of overwhelmed about the situation."
Smith played in all 32 games for Nebraska last season as a junior transfer from Seward Country (Kan.) C.C., averaging 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds as one of the top options off the bench. He also led the Huskers with three double-doubles and ranked second with 29 steals and 20 blocked shots.
With Smith's future for the 2014-15 season in doubt, Nebraska will likely now turn to a pair of newcomers in senior transfer Moses Abraham and true freshman Jake Hammond to help fill his void in the low post.
There had been talk that Miles might opt to redshirt Hammond this year to allow him time to improve his strength and conditioning before making his Husker debut, but the former three-star prospect out of Comanche, Okla., might be thrust into the lineup right away with Smith out of the mix.