Twenty months after one of the more gruesome injuries in NFL history, Washington quarterback Alex Smith could be on the cusp of going back to football-related activities. The only obstacle staying is a physical at the group’s center Monday.
On Friday, a team of Smith’s doctors cleared him for football-related activities, and Saturday, Thom Mayer, the medical director for the NFL Players Association, said Smith is intent upon playing.
Mayer noted Washington Football Team physician Robin West becomes part of the group of physicians who cleared Smith to resume football activities. He pointed out that, in spite of the book coronavirus pandemic, Smith and his better half, Elizabeth, have actually decided “this is his work to do– and he’s going to do it.”
” Alex is a warrior,” Mayer said. “My middle kid did two tours in Afghanistan. Those guys are warriors, so I do not use that term lightly. I use it with Alex since he actually battled death.”
The news of Smith’s clearance Friday, reported by ESPN, came as a little a surprise. Because Smith fractured the tibia and fibula in his right leg in November 2018, some around the group had revealed adoration for his work ethic however suspicion he could in fact return. Smith is already guaranteed his 2020 base income of $16 million, according to OverTheCap.com
A Washington representative stated Saturday the group would not discuss Smith’s medical condition until Monday’s physical.
If the group clears Smith, his resurgence attempt would continue as training camp starts Tuesday. Mayer believes in West– “she’s one of the very best”– and Washington’s process.
” With Dr. West and that [medical] team, they’re not going to just tell [Smith] what he wishes to hear,” Mayer said. “They’re going to tell him what remains in his finest interest.”
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, who assisted sack Smith on the play that broke his leg, tweeted his support of Smith after discovering Smith’s medical professionals cleared him Friday night.
” What an extraordinary return,” Watt composed. “Couldn’t be happier to hear it, really rooting for his success.”
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Even if Smith is cleared Monday, he won’t be facing a pass rush in pads anytime soon.
If he passes his physical, the concern then becomes whether he will be able to sustain contact– though it needn’t be addressed immediately. There will be no cushioned practices until Aug. 17, according to the NFL and NFLPA arrangement completed Friday, and even after that, quarterbacks are usually avoided contact throughout practice.
For Smith to return, outside medical professionals cautioned that severe issues need to be addressed. Christopher Lee, an orthopedic cosmetic surgeon focusing on sports medication, mentioned it’s “practically unprecedented” for anybody, consisting of elite athletes, to return from an injury like the one Smith suffered. “It’s still fantastic he’s even walking,” said Lee, who has not taken a look at Smith.
The threats for Smith, 36, returning to play are considerable. There’s a chance the best tibia will never ever be as strong as it once was, Lee stated, and if he reinjures the leg it “might be rather serious.” There is also issue about chain-reaction injuries triggered by Smith making up for the right leg.
The first responsible area is Smith’s left quadriceps. A cosmetic surgeon transferred part of the muscle from the quad to the injury to conserve the ideal leg. It’s also possible, Lee stated, the quad or the glutes aren’t strong enough to endure a hard hit without suffering another extremity injury, such as to the ankle, hip or knee.
Though there is precedent to returning from a fractured tibia– Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers and Earl Thomas of the Baltimore Ravens have actually done it in the previous five years– Lee stressed those two are various from Smith, who fought a “nasty” infection afterward. The germs went into Smith’s blood stream and nearly killed him.
The infection inflicted soft-tissue damage that leaves Smith vulnerable, Lee stated. He added Smith might suffer significant damage from something as little as a helmet glancing off his best shin. Even if surgical treatment achieved success, and even if the muscle flap positioned to cover the exposed bone is successful, “you just never ever quite know” how more trauma to the location might play out.
Yet Lee saw Smith’s documentary that premiered in May, and he kept in mind attempting to square his medical expertise with the improbable willpower he saw on screen.
” It seems like if somebody’s going to [complete the comeback],” Lee stated, “it’s going to be him.”
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