Washington quarterback Alex Smith took a significant step in his recovery on Monday, getting the external fixator removed from his right leg.
Essentially a bulky metal halo encircling his lower leg, the fixator was attached to his bone, keeping it in place so it healed properly.
Smith’s wife, Liz, posted a photo on Instagram of Smith holding the device.
“The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy. Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone,” Liz Smith wrote. “We are shedding the weight Alex has been carrying (literally and figuratively). It’s one step closer to the goal. The resilience, determination and mental fortitude of this man is unmatched.”
In an interview last month with Fox 5 DC’s Angie Goff, Alex Smith talked about the fixator, saying it was saving his leg, allowing him to heal.
He said at the time it would be removed in four to six weeks, and this is right in that window.
Though he has been throwing and even playing golf, Smith said that once the fixator was removed, he’d be able to start the process of getting back into playing condition.
“I start jogging, jumping, running,” he said.
He was asked about playing football again.
“That’s the plan,” Smith said. “Steps. I’ve got to conquer some more steps before I get there, but, yeah — learn to run again, that’s a big one. I’m already throwing, I feel like throwing’s not a problem, I feel like I can throw.
“Dropping, moving around, change of direction ... the steps I’m at right now are lifestyle steps. I’m still working on playing basketball with my kids, running around after my daughter. There’s all those things I have to conquer anyway [before] I get there that I’m walking on a field.
“I’m looking forward to it, I’m excited about that challenge. The stronger I get every week, the more I do, the more hopeful I am that that’s a real possibility.”
There’s a long way to go for the quarterback if he’s going to play again, but Monday was a step in a positive direction.
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