Three weeks after Alex Smith suffered a devastating leg injury during the Redskins' loss to the Texans, the quarterback is dealing with an infection that has left him in the hospital over his long-term recovery.
The Redskins issued a statement Thursday describing the injury as "serious" and asking that "everyone please honor the Smith family's request for privacy at this time," while providing no specific information on Smith's situation.
There was a feeling of concern in the team's lockers Thursday as teammates wished the best for Smith. A large group of players took a team to visit Smith in the hospital Tuesday. There were too many of them in Smith's hospital room, so the quarterback was brought to see his teammates in a larger area.
"We're just getting it, 'Hey, we're praying for you, man, and we're excited about it," 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.' "
Smith is battling an infection following surgery to repair the fractured tibia and fibula in his right leg, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who speaks to a sensitive health issue. That person said the injury could "possibly" be career-threatening for Smith.
A day after Smith suffered his injury, Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said the quarterback's surgery was well-to-do that he was facing a six- to eight-month recovery timeline. ESPN goal later reported that Smith's bone broke through his skin and he faced a "lengthy rehab."
The Redskins have not confirmed that Smith's bone broke through his story and Smith's recovery.
Risk of infection is a common concern for injuries in the skin.
Alexis Colvin, orthopedic surgeon sports medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said that infection is the biggest concern for those types of leg fractures because of the exposure to debris. Colvin said, "The soft tissue needs to be cleaned out during surgery, and it sometimes requires going back to another cleaning with an additional surgery.
Thursday, September 12, 2009 Thursday, September 9, 2009 Gruden
"I was asked by Alex's wife, his dad, his mom, not to really go into it," 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 there. "
Tight end Vernon Davis, who also played with Smith on the San Francisco 49ers, said that he was not worried about Smith's long-term outlook, adding, "Alex is the most resilient man I've ever met."
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 close eye on him and stuff like that," Bibbs said. "He knows that he's in our prayers."
Added left tackle Trent Williams: "Whatever it is, I just pray for him. Honestly, I do not know what's going on with that situation. I'd like to meet you at this time, so I can not wait for my prayers over. "
The news of complications has increased 34-year-old Smith will return to the field. It is not at financial risk, given that $ 71 million of the $ 94 million contract signed with Washington last year is fully guaranteed. The team will not be able to receive a salary if he is unable to play.
"It goes to show you, it's the game we play," cornerback Josh Norman said. "Can not be here and gone next. You can be here one day, and you have a big injury, and you've got to be 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, but he's safe. He's connected; he's well established. He'll be fine. "
The Carpenter and Mark Maske contributed to this report.
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