Report: Key Nebraska forward could be ahead of schedule on recovery

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Nebraska is hoping that a key piece will return from injury early and so far, signs are looking promising. According to a report by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Nebraska senior forward Leslee Smith is way ahead of schedule on the recovery of a torn left ACL and he could be back by January.

The 6-foot-8, 255-pound Smith suffered the ACL tear on July 3 playing for his native British Virgin Islands in the FIBA Caribbean Championships.

“We’re hoping to have him ready in mid-January, about a week or two into Big Ten play,” Nebraska head coach Tim Miles said to Rothstein. “We’re hoping to get him live in practice soon and just take it from there.”

Smith averaged 5.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game last season on 51 percent shooting from the field but he would give the Huskers additional interior depth that they sorely lack in the first months of the season.

Nebraska has Walter Pitchford back, but he lacks the interior presence on the defensive end that the Huskers need. Georgetown transfer Moses Abraham is also on the roster along with 6-foot-10 center Jake Hammond but Smith would give Nebraska more experience.