Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Will Smith tore the LCL in his right knee and is expected to miss extended action as he recovers.
Continue for updates.
Brewers Exploring Surgery for Smith
Saturday, March 26
According to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com), Smith suffered the injury while pulling off his cleats after pitching in a minor league game March 24.
"I pulled hard [on the shoe] and it stayed on," Smith said, according to the Associated Press. "My knee just went up and popped. Everyone tells you there is nothing you can do about it, but you still feel like you are letting people down."
Manager Craig Counsell told reporters the reliever will miss "significant time," but a firm timetable isn't currently available since it's yet to be determined if Smith needs surgery.
"The recovery is a little longer with surgery," Counsell said, per the Associated Press. "It's tough for us; it's tough for Will. There is going to be somebody in [the clubhouse] that takes this opportunity and makes a lot of it."
The good news for Milwaukee is that Counsell said the injury will not end Smith's season. Rather, it's just a matter of weathering the storm after Smith and Jeremy Jeffress were pegged to split closing responsibilities this year.
Smith appeared in 76 games and posted a career-best 2.70 ERA last season when he struck out 91 batters and walked just 24.
Now it will be on Jeffress to shoulder the load a year after going 5-0 with a 2.65 ERA, 67 strikeouts and 22 walks in a career-high 72 appearances.