SPOKANE, Wash. — Dwight Smith made the 1,037 mile trek from Fort Collins to Spokane with the rest of the CSU basketball team on Monday, only able to contribute support from the bench as his teammates faced the No. 15 team in the country.
The junior guard suffered a dislocation and fracture in his right hand during practice on Saturday, forcing him to wear a cast instead of a uniform for the Rams’ matchup with Gonzaga.
The estimated timeframe given by CSU trainers has Smith missing four to six weeks and requires surgery before he will be able to make his return.
“I felt my hand kind of go numb, I kind of felt it. I looked down at my thumb and it looked like my bone had popped out,” Smith said. “I’ve broken bones before and dislocated fingers, so I tried to pop it back in. I kept playing through it until my hand was completely swollen.”
From there, Smith went to the CSU football game where he was further examined by the athletic personnel.
According to Smith, the injury bug stung while the Rams were performing a routine practice.
“We were just going up and down, doing stuff that we do every day with basic drills; nothing crazy,” Smith said.
The timetable placed on Smith’s recovery would entail him missing a minimum of nine games. CSU’s home game against Denver University would be the closest scheduled to the four-week mark.
Smith played for 12 minutes against UCCS last Friday in the Rams’ season-opener, picking up two points on 1-4 shooting before fouling out. For Smith, the setback from the injury hurts more mentally than physically.
“I want to come back as soon as possible, obviously. It’s leadership stuff that’s going on, I need to step up as a player,” Smith said. “I need to get through all of these injuries. I’ve had enough in my career and I’m really tired and fed up to this point of being hurt. I honestly feel like I’m letting people down.”
Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @QSickafoose.