ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Shares When He’ll Return to First Take Following Surgery

by Nick Geddes

The return of ESPN‘s Stephen A. Smith to the “First Take” panel is coming soon.

The 54-year-old ESPN stalwart revealed on Twitter Friday that he will be back on Aug. 15.

Smith has been out of action for over a month, largely since the NBA season came to an end. Once fans began to take notice of his extended absence, Smith provided the world with an update. Smith tweeted on July 14 that he is recovering from shoulder surgery.

“Appreciate the love I’ve been receiving from everyone who’s missed me on [First Take].” Smith wrote. “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.”

Stephen A. Smith is Returning Just in Time for the 2022 NFL Season

The Aug. 15 return date puts Stephen A. Smith back on television in the midst of the NFL gearing up for the 2022 season. His reintroduction will be a welcome sight on “First Take” broadcasts, given that Smith is arguably ESPN‘s most popular personality. He certainly is one of the network’s highest-paid, reportedly earning $12 million annually.

Still two weeks out from his return, Stephen A. Smith made a cameo over the phone on Monday’s edition of “First Take.” Smith came on to chime in on Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson receiving a six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

“The NFL has gone through extraordinary lengths to try to do what law enforcement is supposed to do,” Smith said. “That’s my problem with all of this. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. There is no way in hell that Deshaun Watson can claim complete innocence. But to be fair to him, he has ADAMANTLY expressed the fact that he has been innocent of this.”