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Alex Smith has external fixator removed

Next step in Smith’s recovery

Detroit Pistons v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Redskins QB Alex Smith had the external fixator that has been attached to his leg for months removed according to his wife on instagram. Smith suffered a devastating injury to his leg last year, and had emergency surgery. He dealt with multiple infections that extended his hospital stay, and required several more surgeries.

There are a lot of questions about Smith’s future on the field, but he was optimistic during his first interview after the injury.

Smith says he is playing golf again and walking without crutches. He hopes to get the external fixator on his leg removed in 4-6 weeks, which will put him at 7-7 1⁄2 months wearing the device. Smith said he has been able to drive, work out, and get off crutches during the last 3 months. He said the first 4 months of his recovery were especially hard physically and mentally, and he cited being in a wheelchair and his loss of independence.

Smith also talked about the next steps after the external fixator is removed. He can begin jogging and learning how to run again. The plan is to play football again if and when he gets to that point. He has already started throwing a football. Smith said one of the biggest mental obstacles is regaining trust in his leg.

Smith is on schedule with the injury recovery timeline that he and Head Coach Jay Gruden have laid out. Smith won’t play football this season, and it will probably be a miracle if he plays in the NFL again. The Redskins acquired Case Keenum via trade, and spent a 1st round pick on Dwayne Haskins as their QB of the future. Smith will be on the payroll for a few more years, but will likely be playing mentor instead of QB.