It's been a long road to recovery for Redskins quarterback Alex Smith after suffering a gruesome leg injury against the Houston Texans last November.
Following the original break, Smith's injury became infected, requiring more surgery and for him to wear an external fixator on his injured leg, a large metal, circular device that ran from his knee down to his foot with metal screws to hold bones in place.
Smith had been wearing the fixator for the past eight months, but on Monday, the brace was finally removed. Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted on her Instagram account a picture of Smith holding the recently removed metal device.
One milestone reached - Redskins QB Alex Smith gets his external fixator removed after suffering a devasting leg injury about 8 months ago. (📸: Liz Smith IG) @NBC4Sports @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/NVQrTBAJn5— Sherree Burruss (@SherreeBurruss) July 15, 2019
"The last 8 months have been nothing short of crazy," Elizabeth Smith wrote on her Instagram. "Although it’s not over, today is a big milestone. 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."
This is a major step in Smith's recovery process, as he still hopes to play football again.
"That's the plan," Smith said to NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay of returning to the field. "I got to conquer some more steps before I get there."
But first, he must learn how to run and change direction again.
Earlier this summer, Smith was seen throwing passes at Redskins OTAs. He most certainly won't play in 2020, and his future on Washington has a lot to do with the success of rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Washington's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While Smith won't help the Redskins on the field, don't be surprised if Smith has a positive role in the development of Haskins. A team captain in 2018, many of his teammates have praised Smith of the leadership he displayed a season ago.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- One Goal: Alex Smith plans to play football again
- Back Out There: Smith throwing passes at Redskins OTAs
- Number Crunching: Redskins don't have many options with Smith's salary
- 'Dwayne Decision': How should the Redskins handle Haskins?