Flyers plagued with injuries, Elvis and Smith on crutches

Mustapha Amzil and Malachi Smith greet the Red Scare student section. Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media & photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

The Dayton Flyers need all the help they can get as injuries continue to plague what had been a very highly anticipated 2022-2023 season. 

Dayton took its first step on the road to recovery following a disappointing 0-3 finish in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving with a 67-47 victory against Western Michigan at UD Arena on Wednesday. However, the losses in the Bahamas were not as troubling as the injuries sustained by Kobe Elvis and Malachi Smith in the final minutes of the third game. 

Both were seen using crutches to get around UD Arena prior to the game against Western Michigan. 

Dayton head coach Anthony Grant was asked how his team managed the disappointment of the three losses and the injuries to both point guards in his post-game press conference for the Western Michigan game. 

“That’s basketball,” Grant said. “We don’t have the luxury that you have and the people that love and support us have. You can’t get too high. You can’t get too low. It’s a marathon. So as disappointed as we were with the outcomes, we understand there’s a lot of basketball left to play and this team is capable of doing really good things. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but we were in position in every game that we played with a limited roster to win. We had opportunities in every one of those games to win.”

Grant did provide a glimpse of positive news when asked if there was any update on the injury status of both Smith and Elvis. 

“Malachi’s ankle, I think it’s just a matter of being patient and letting it heal,” Grant said. “I don’t know what the timetable is, but as of now, there is no fracture, and I don’t think he will need surgery. It is just a matter of healing and letting the process take care of itself.”

“With Kobe, the great news is it doesn’t appear that surgery will be required, and he will be able to most likely return, assuming there is no setback in the healing process. Like with Smith, we just don’t know what the timetable is. So that was great news to get that because when those things happen, you always think the worst, and it’s a blessing that it wasn’t what we all thought. Hopefully, we can get both guys back during the course of the season,” he added. 

With the injuries, Dayton still has yet to play a game with its full roster. Dayton did get a boost when Kobe Brea returned on Wednesday as he played in his second game after missing the previous four games due to an illness. He did not travel with the team when they played in the Bahamas last week. Also making a return was Kaleb Washington who made his debut in the final minutes of Wednesday’s game, signifying that his suspension is over. 

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