Seven months after suffering a gruesome leg injury, Alex Smith opened up for the first time about his recovery and the hardships he's faced.
The Washington Redskins quarterback will shed the external fixator on his right leg in four-to-six weeks and can then begin jogging.
"This thing is going to save my leg, save my bone, and allow me to heal and walk again and help me play football again," Smith told FOX 5 DC's Angie Goff.
Smith said his plan is to play in the NFL again but acknowledged he must "conquer some more steps" before he gets there.
"The last three months have definitely been life-changing. I've been able to start driving, I can work out, I'm off the crutches," the quarterback said. "The first four months were really, really hard, both (physically and mentally); just to be in a wheelchair for as long as I was."
The three-time Pro Bowler led Washington to a 6-4 record last season before breaking his leg in Week 11 against the Houston Texans. His teammates and coaches admitted he likely won't be available for the 2019 season.
Smith understands the severity of his injury and the long road he faces to recovery, but the 35-year-old has maintained a positive attitude throughout the process.
"To be honest, the thing that's helped me the most with this is just trying to get through each day," he said.
"(I) try not to get caught up with how far down the line (in the recovery process) ... It's crazy looking and it sucks what happened, but at the same time, there are people out there that have it way worse. Stuff happens to everybody, life happens, and for me, I feel like this is a time for ... being tested and having this challenge in front of me and how can I handle it."