Alex Smith suffered a season-ending injury, and now, his career may also be in jeopardy.
The Washington Redskins quarterback, 34, underwent surgery last month after he was tackled mid-play and suffered a gruesome compound fracture his fibula and tibia, according to Sports Illustrated. Smith went into the surgery just hours after the Nov. 18 game as a precautionary measure to avoid infections.
But the doctors’ swift action was not enough, as Smith is now reportedly dealing with major setbacks from the surgery and remains in the hospital.
“Alex Smith is battling an infection related to the surgery he had on his broken fibula and tibia, sources say,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Thursday. “It’s premature to say what this means for his playing future. But it is being handled with care and dealt with seriously by doctors.”
Burgundy Blog also updated football fans with a tweet, explaining that “Smith [is] indeed still in hospital with post-op infection. Will likely require re-intervention, incl possibly ‘partial reconstruction.’”
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On Thursday morning, the Redskins released a statement regarding their quarterback and asked for privacy as he fights the “serious injury” and works toward recovery.
“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 team wrote on Twitter.
“Although this is a serious injury, Alex and his family remain strong,” they continued. “We would ask that everyone please honor the Smith family’s request for privacy at this time.”
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Redskins head coach Jay Gruden also addressed the incident during a press conference Thursday, remaining silent on the status of his former starter.
“I think the statement says it all. I was asked by Alex, his wife, his dad, his mom, not to really go into any detail on this process,” Gruden said, according to the NFL. “[They] asked to respect their privacy. 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 rep for Smith did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In March, after spending five seasons playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith was traded to the Redskins as the No. 1 overall pick. His contract for the team included a four-year, $94 million deal, according to Sports Illustrated.
Prior to his season-ending injury against the Houston Texas, the superstar quarterback led his team to a 6-3 record and threw for 2,180 yards and 10 touchdowns, the outlet reported.
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The Redskins have had some unfortunate luck since Smith went down in the game that the team eventually lost 21-23.
Colt McCoy, their second-string quarterback who replaced Smith, also fractured his fibula just two weeks after Smith’s injury, according to Sports Illustrated.
The team has four more games slated for the regular season.
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