Washington says Alex Smith leg injury ‘serious’

Washington says Alex Smith leg injury ‘serious’
WASHINGTON—Three weeks after quarterback Alex Smith suffered a devastating leg injury during the Redskins’ loss to the Texans, there is growing concern about the progress of his recovery, with the Redskins issuing a statement Thursday describing the injury as “serious” and asking that “everyone please honour the Smith family’s request for privacy at this time.”

“I was asked by Alex’s wife, his dad, his mom, not to really go into any detail on this process,” Gruden said. “That’s a respect of privacy, so that’s what I’m going to do. I think when the time is right, Alex will address the media and we’ll go from there.”

A day after Smith suffered his injury, Gruden said the quarterback’s surgery went well and he was facing a 6- to 8-month recovery timeline. ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that Smith’s bone broke through his skin and he faced a “lengthy rehab.”

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Alexis Colvin, orthopedic sports medicine surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, told The Washington Post that the risk of infection was the biggest concern due to the leg breaking through the skin and being exposed to debris. The soft tissue must be cleaned out during surgery, Colvin explained, and it sometimes requires going back in for another cleaning with an additional surgery.

There was a feeling of concern in the team’s locker room Thursday as teammates wished the best for Smith. A large group of players took a team bus to visit Smith in the hospital Tuesday. There were too many of them to fit in Smith’s hospital room, so the quarterback was brought to see his teammates in a larger area.

“We all just assured him, ‘Hey, we’re praying for you, man,’ and wished him the best for him,” running back Adrian Peterson said. “That’s all we can do. ‘Hey, you’re not in the building, but we’re still thinking about you.’”

Running back Kapri Bibbs said he plans to visit Smith, alone, when he gets the opportunity.

“Heck yeah I’m worried, but I know they’re keeping a real close eye on him and stuff like that,” Bibbs said. “He knows that he’s in our prayers. I know a lot of the guys went to the thing and I want to be sure to go whether it’s me or Chris (Thompson) or the other running backs. But I want to go by myself.”

The Redskins have not confirmed that Smith’s bone broke through his skin, repeating only that he suffered a broken tibia and fibula. The team had provided almost no additional information about Smith’s injury or recovery before releasing Thursday’s statement, although Gruden was asked on Nov. 23 about reports that Smith’s recovery could stretch beyond 6 to 8 months. “Right now, I’m going on the six to eight,” Gruden said then. “So we’ll just have to wait and see, make sure that everything goes OK. I don’t know.”

The team’s statement read: “On behalf of Alex Smith, we appreciate all of the concerns and prayers over the injury he incurred on November 18th against the Houston Texans,” the statement read. “Although this is a serious injury, Alex and his family remain strong. We would ask that everyone please honour the Smith family’s request for privacy at this time.”

The news of complications have increased questions about whether the 34-year old Smith will ever return to the field. He is not at financial risk, given that $71 million (U.S.) of the $94-million contract he signed with Washington this off-season is fully guaranteed. The team will not receive salary cap relief if Smith is unable to play.

“It goes to show you, it’s the game we play,” cornerback Josh Norman said. “Can be here one day and gone the next. Can be here one day and you have a big injury and you’ve got to be set back for a period of time, it’s just what it is. But he’s set (financially) no matter what, and that’s what you want.

“I know him. That willingness to fight. That willingness to grind it out. That warrior type of mentality … He has that in him. He’s a leader, he’s a fighter. It sucks it happened to him, but he’s safe, he’s connected, he’s well established. He’ll be fine, he’ll be fine.”
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