Smith took to Twitter on Monday night to explain the circumstances.
Stephen A. Smith returned to ESPN's First Take on July 29 after a brief hiatus, but unlike his previous appearances, Smith was sporting a new necessary accessory: a sling on his left arm.
Smith, who has been known to cover boxing at times, took to Twitter on Monday to reveal the circumstances of his injury. He admitted that he tore his rotator cuff on a left hook after taking up boxing to lose a few pounds.
"I lost about ten pounds, wanted to lose a little bit more, plus I love to box," Smith said. "I like boxing and I like basketball. I can’t stand just running. So to get some real cardio in, I like boxing and I like basketball. I haven’t been able to box over the last year because of my schedule and all of that stuff so I decided to get back heavily into it.
"Next thing I know I wind up to throw a left hook—a check left hook—and all I heard was a rip and I knew something was wrong," Smith continued. "Immediately it hurt. But it wasn’t until the next day that I couldn’t lift my damn arm over my shoulders. So it was really, really bad. I know this. As a result, since it was a rip, I knew I needed to have surgery. I had surgery last Wednesday."
The 51-year-old offered up the explanation while throwing a slight punch with his other arm toward those he knew "are laughing at me."
"I'm 51. Like, get over it. It's over. It's over!" Smith said. "I understand, but damn it, I was trying to hold on to my youth."
The torn rotator cuff couldn't keep Smith away from the job for long. Smith and his takes, along with his sling, are back on their normal schedule since having the surgery.