Arkansas’ Nick Smith Jr. out indefinitely with knee injury

Arkansas guard Nick Smith Jr. (3) drives around Oklahoma guard Milos Uzan (12) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas freshman guard Nick Smith Jr., a projected NBA lottery pick, is out indefinitely because of a knee injury, the team announced Wednesday.

Smith left the Razorbacks’ win over Bradley early in the second half on Saturday. The school said “right knee management” was the reason for his absence from Wednesday’s 85-51 victory over UNC Asheville.

Arkansas coach Eric Musselman provided few details after the game.

“He’s out indefinitely. That’s what it is,” Musselman said. “There’s nothing else. He’s out indefinitely and he’s going to continue to rehab the best he can.”

The 6-foot-5 Smith, one of the top recruits in the country, missed the team’s first six games because the injury. He played only five minutes in his debut against Troy on Nov. 28, but averaged 19.7 points in his next three games, logging 24, 39 and 29 minutes, respectively. Smith scored five points in 20 minutes against Bradley before leaving because of what Musselman said was a tape issue.

Musselman was coy about Smith’s status after Saturday’s game and again in a media session on Monday.

No. 10 Arkansas (11-1) opens Southeastern Conference play at LSU on Dec. 28.