Stephen A. Smith has been recuperating.
While it is customary for Smith to take time off during the summer, many have wondered why he’s been out from ESPN for the past couple weeks amid what has become a time of the year known for lively NBA free agency.
Smith provided the answer to that mystery on Thursday, when he announced he’s been recovering from a shoulder issue — and that he’ll be out through the end of July.
“Appreciate the love I’ve been receiving from everyone who’s missed me on @FirstTake,” Smith tweeted. “I’m out because I’m rehabbing from shoulder surgery. Partial tear — rotator cuff AND Bicep, along with frayed Labrum, plus a Bone Spur. Aging sucks, but it is what it is. Back next month. #AllLove”
This is the second extended time away for Smith in recent months, as he missed several weeks this past winter with a serious bout of COVID-19.
“I’m ecstatic to be back. I’ve missed being at work,” Smith said on-air when he returned in mid-January. “I’ve used more sick days in the last month than I’ve used in my 28-year career in this business combined. I don’t take many sick days, but I had to do it this month just to survive. And I can’t tell you how lucky and sincerely blessed I am to be sitting here today — because two-and-a-half, three weeks ago, I didn’t know if I was gonna make it.”