JOSHUA Smith is set to go under the knife to repair a fractured nose he sustained during TnT Katropa’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Meralco.
The burly import is just awaiting the go-signal from his US-based handlers before undergoing with the procedure, according to TNT team manager Virgil Villavicencio on Tuesday.
“We’re just waiting clearance from his agents sa US. Ganun kasi 'yun kapag ooperahan ang mga imports, kailangan paalam sa mga handlers nila if they will approve it,” Villavicencio informed SPIN.ph.
The TnT official said Smith will definitely wear a protective mask when the Katropa returns to the court on July 7 against league-leader Rain or Shine.
That gives the 26-year-old native of Seattle, Washington two weeks to rest and get comfortable wearing a mask.
“Good thing naka-break ang liga ng two weeks para maka recover siya,” said Villavicencio.
This is the second time Smith suffered an injury in as many stint with the Katropa. Last season he hurt his foot and had to play through the pain as TnT lost to San Miguel in six games in the finals.
Smith suffered his latest injury after Meralco counterpart Arinze Onuaku accidentally dropped an elbow on him while going for a hook shot in the third quarter of their game last June 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The former Georgetown stalwart was left bloodied following the incident and had to be taken out of the game for good. He was later brought to the Cardinal Santos hospital where he was confined overnight.
He just finished with six points, seven rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes of play.
Despite of his absence, the Katropa still managed to beat the Bolts, 91-85, to improve to 7-3 and tie Alaska for second place, remaining in contention for the No. 2 seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.