Malachi Smith returns to the court after Atlantis ankle injury

Malachi Smith was in the starting five for a matchup against Richmond Jan. 28 for the first time since injury. Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media and photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

As soon as the substitution horn went off, all 13,407 fans in attendance at UD Arena stood on their feet and began to cheer. They all witnessed Malachi Smith check into the game for the first time in 11 games in a Jan. 17 game against the Davidson Wildcats.

Smith sprained his left ankle in the final moments of the second half on Nov. 25 during a 79-75 loss to Brigham Young in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. 

“It meant a lot to play again,” Smith said following the Davidson game. “It was rough these past couple of months. I am just happy to play basketball and really wanted to get back on the court.” 

“It was a lot of fun to see our brother come back,” teammate Mustapha Amzil said. “It was great to see that big smile on his face after he got that first layup.”

Smith took the first step toward putting that horrific moment from the Bahamas in the rearview mirror. He turned his ankle as he drove to the rim in the final seconds with the game tied. He laid on the ground afterward before needing to be carried back to the locker room. 

“I knew right away it wasn’t good. It was bad,” Smith said. “I am just glad I didn’t need surgery and I think it is a blessing that I am able to return back to the court.” 

Smith said that the pain he felt was far worse than what happened when he turned his other ankle in the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn back in March. He was able to walk off the court with help following that injury. 

Smith believes he will most likely get surgery after the season to hopefully correct his recurring ankle issues. He explained it should only be his left ankle that will require surgery. 

“It just depends on how the season plays out and how I feel down the road.” he said.

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