Alex Smith has been through a brutal rehab, from the compound leg fracture he suffered last fall. Throw in serious complications from infections after surgery to repair the break, and Smith has a long road back to the gridiron, if he plays again at all.
That remains his goal. Smith says he wants to make it back to the NFL, and Washington would likely welcome having him back in the quarterback room to help mentor Dwayne Haskins.
The road back has been even more brutal than we all knew. Previous reports had stated that Smith had undergone about a half-dozen surgeries.
According to Smith, the real number is 17.
That is what he told attendees at an event for medical professionals recently, according to a report by The Washington Times:
That is what Smith told an invited audience of mostly medical professionals attending an Inova Sports Medicine event on Oct. 2 in Fairfax, Virginia, — 17 surgeries, according to someone in attendance who asked not to be identified.
They said there was a “gasp” from the crowd when Smith revealed he had 17 surgeries on the broken leg, the person said.
The 17 surgeries is a dramatically different figure than the six the NFL Network reported in December. Those nearly half-dozen operations were reportedly part of an effort to remove tissue after Smith developed an infection following the operation he had to repair the broken fibula and tibia he suffered in that 23-21 loss to the Texans.
It is not known if all the operations that followed were related to the infections, though the absurd number of operations would indicate that the infections were severe.
Smith didn't respond, and the franchise declined to confirm that number, per the report.
The 17 surgery number makes Smith's recovery to this point even more impressive. He was spotted walking without assistance on the field ahead of Washington's Monday Night Football game back in late September, and he was recently spotted throwing the ball on the practice field.
It will be incredible if Alex Smith can play again, but the most important thing is that he fully recovers and doesn't face any lingering effects of that injury, and everything that comes with it.