Updated: 4:11 p.m.

According to a report that should shock no one, it doesn't sound like the Sixers are going to rush Zhaire Smith's recovery.

The Inquirer's Keith Pompey reports that the team expects the rookie to be available to play around Christmas. 

Head coach and interim GM Brett Brown confirmed Tuesday that the Sixers expect Smith to return in December.

Smith suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot at Tim Grgurich's basketball camp in Las Vegas on Aug. 6 and had surgery on Aug. 9 (see story). 

While the timetable for recovery from a Jones fracture varies, Christmas is a conservative return date. Pompey reports that timeline is contingent on Smith being in shape and not suffering any setbacks.

Smith's potential was much more attractive to the Sixers than what they thought he could possibly contribute this season, so this is far from a serious blow to their immediate future. His offensive game will take time to develop as he transitions to the wing from a power-forward role in college. Still, his perimeter defense and special athleticism could help fill a need once he does return.

While he's sidelined, there may be an opportunity for No. 26 pick Landry Shamet to earn a role, although 2017 second-round pick Jonah Bolden could end up being the rookie who makes the biggest impact off the bench this season (see story). Smith's injury may also open up a little more room for Furkan Korkmaz to find a spot in the rotation.

 

Training camp for the Sixers begins with media day on Friday. The team's first preseason game is Sep. 28 against Melbourne United at Wells Fargo Center, and the regular-season opener is Oct. 16 in Boston.

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