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STARKVILLE — Mississippi State basketball forward Tolu Smith has faced several injuries already this season, and he could be set for another stint on the sideline.
Smith suffered a knee injury with just over a minute left in Saturday's win against Ole Miss. Coach Ben Howland said the initial prognosis is a subluxation of the patella — or a partially dislocated knee cap. Smith will undergo an MRI at 8 a.m. Sunday to confirm whether that prognosis is correct.
The timeframe for recovery from a subluxation of the knee can be three to six weeks, according to the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
"I felt badly because I was right there next to him when it happened, and I saw what happened," guard Iverson Molinar said. "We just wish a speedy recovery for him. Actually, they haven't said nothing yet, but I hope he's all right because it would be a tragedy 'cause he put all this work in the offseason. He's one of the guys who deserves to be on the floor."
The 6-foot-11 forward has played eight games this season, averaging 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds. He missed the beginning of the season as he recovered from a stress fracture in his foot, and shortly after returning, a fractured pinky toe kept him out more.
Then Smith landed in health and safety protocols, causing him to miss two more games, before returning to play Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss.
"I'm blaming myself. I'm kicking myself," Howland said about having Smith in the game against the Rebels that late considering the lead was well in hand. "We just didn't want the lead to dissipate in the last two minutes. Unfortunately, the way the NCAA does the NET, the final score matters. Our final score matters.
"We take him out, it goes from 18 to 10, it would've hurt our chances to try to get in the tournament. In retrospect, I'm really kicking myself. He didn't play that many minutes, so I didn't think it was going to fatigue him, but I'm no expert when it comes to being a doctor."
This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Mississippi State's Tolu Smith suffers partially dislocated knee; MRI scheduled