Jason Smith to have surgery on Wednesday

On Wednesday, Jason Smith begins the difficult road back to the basketball court.

The 76ers’ 6-foot-11 backup center, and first-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, will have surgery in New York City to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, this according to Smith’s agent, Marc Bartelstein.

Smith tore the ligament on Aug. 7 while doing a lay-up at an NBA-approved camp in

Las Vegas


Dr. David Altchek, the attending Orthopedic Surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in

New York

, evaluated Smith in August and is believed to be performing the surgery.

Bartelstein said Smith is currently in


doing pre-surgery physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee.

“Jason’s doing well,” Bartelstein said. “He’s anxious to do the surgery and get started on the rehab process.”

The Sixers have not put a timetable on Smith’s return, but he is believed to be out for the entire 2008-09 season. 

During his rookie season, Smith, from




, averaged 4.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game.


-- Kate