NFL quarterback Alex Smith told ESPN Friday that he has been cleared by his surgical team to resume football activities following a horrific leg injury that has kept him off the field with Washington since November 2018.
Smith broke his tibia and fibula in his right leg when he was tackled in a 2018 game against the Houston Texans. His road to recovery has included at least 17 surgeries, including a battle with a life-threatening infection.
But he has continued to rehab in the 20 months since the injury, with the hope to one day play again. He told ESPN a recent consultation with his medical team produced promising results.
Washington quarterback Alex Smith in July 2019. (Photo: Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports)
"Everyone was in agreement that my bone was in a really good place," Smith said to ESPN.
"I had healed a lot. They said that given the combination of the rod and where I was with the healing process, I had zero limitations and could even resume some football activities.
"To hear them say that, from a life standpoint, they wouldn't restrict me from doing anything – I could go skiing or snowboarding tomorrow if I wanted – then on top of that, to get the green light that I could practice, get contact, that I had healed up, that much was pretty wild to hear. I didn't know if I would ever hear those words."
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What that means for Smith's future with the recently re-named (for now) Washington Football Team is still unclear. He is scheduled to have a team physical Monday and his next steps will be determined then.
"For me, all eyes are on practice," Smith told ESPN. "That's the next step. I have to go prove to myself and certainly to everybody else that I can go practice."
Smith, now 36, was the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL draft. He spent the first eight years of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, leading them to an NFC championship game appearance in 2011. He moved on to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2013 season, and spent five seasons there, compiling a 50-26 record as a starter. The 2018 season was Smith's first in Washington following a trade and big-money extension.
Contributing: Mike Jones
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