CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)
Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith will miss the start of training camp with a broken left forearm suffered while playing football.
Flag football, that is.
Smith was injured Sunday while playing in a flag football game. It’s an activity that could violate the terms of his contract, although Smith is expected back before the start of the regular season and may avoid serious punishment by the team.
The four-time Pro Bowl selection will be sidelined for at least the first couple of weeks of camp, but is expected to be ready for the opener Sept. 12 at the New York Giants.
“He put his arm out to brace himself. When he did he felt a sharp pain,” said Smith’s agent, Derrick Fox. “He went in (Sunday) afternoon to have an X-ray and it showed a break.”
Smith had surgery Sunday night to have a small plate and screws inserted in his arm. Fox said while it’s the same arm he broke at the end of last season, it’s in a different spot and not his wrist. Smith suffered no nerve damage, is expected to make a full recovery and could return as soon as midway through the preseason.