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Broncos' Smith to have surgery Tuesday, career in doubt

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  • Broncos' Smith to have surgery Tuesday, career in doubt

    Broncos' Smith to have surgery Tuesday, career in doubt

    Receiver to have surgery on left hip in California
    By Jeff Legwold, Rocky Mountain News
    Friday, January 4, 2008

    Broncos receiver Rod Smith will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair his troublesome left hip in the first step toward what he has called a "quality of life" decision rather than a return to the playing field.

    After consulting with several doctors, Smith has chosen Joel Matta of the Hip and Pelvis Institute at the St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., to perform the surgery.

    Matta, a longtime specialist in hip repair and joint replacement, was one of several doctors Smith has consulted with in recent weeks.

    "And when I went to see him, he came in from his vacation just to see me," Smith said last week. "That really impressed me. . . . He really laid it all out for me in terms of the procedures he does and why he does them."

    Smith will not undergo a total joint replacement, but part of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip will be repaired in what he has called a "resurfacing." It is possible a small piece of the joint can be replaced during the procedure, but playing football again still is considered unlikely unless the joint responds better than it has in the past year.

    Smith repeatedly has said a joint replacement would be the most drastic and "invasive" surgery and would have meant the official end of his playing career.

    As far as his recovery from the procedure he has chosen, Smith said his quality of life rather than a return to the field always would be the primary concern from this point forward.

    The Broncos' career leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns missed all of the 2007 season because of continuing pain in the joint.

    Smith had surgery Feb. 23 to repair what he has described as degenerative damage, a torn labrum, a torn ligament and "some bone spurs in there."

    He spent the season on the team's physically unable to perform list or injured reserve, though he did briefly return to the practice field earlier this season. He had not made enough progress in his rehabilitation to rejoin the roster.

    Smith said in the weeks since he tried to practice in October the pain had intensified, and after several visits to doctors, including Matta, he elected to have the upcoming surgery.

    Broncos coach Mike Shanahan met with Smith last week and the receiver discussed what the doctors had told him about the possible outcomes of the procedures he had considered.

    This was scheduled to be Smith's 14th year on the field with the team - his first was on the practice squad in 1994 - but a hip that has bothered him since the 2004 season kept him on the sideline instead.

    Playing through the pain on the injured hip, Smith went to the Pro Bowl after the 2005 season before struggling last season as the injury worsened, finishing with 52 catches in 2006, his lowest total since 1996.

  • #2
    I'd like to respond first..

    Rod Smith is just a warrior. Think of all the odds that he was against... Not the biggest, strongest, fastest receiver. Coming out as an undrafted free agent...

    He worked his butt off, and became who he is today.

    I almost feel bad for the guy. It sounds like his quality of life is terrible. His hip is just giving him too much pain. His head wants him to try and come back, but his body is clearly telling him no.

    If I never see Rod Smith on the field again, I'll be fine by that. From what this guy has done, and given us, I would rather have him enjoy life PAINLESS with his children.

    Rod Smith is probably my favorite Bronco of all time. The two jerseys I have of him, with the signed mini football helmet (with Eddy Mac) will be showed off in my room forever.

    Thanks Rod Smith, a true role model, and a true "Football player."


    • #3
      Rod Smith

      will be missed, HALL OF FAME!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Whiteyford View Post
        will be missed, HALL OF FAME!
        His chances are slim in my opinion. But even if he doesn't make it, he's a hall of famer in Broncomaniacs minds..


        • #5
          Putting the whole career may be over idea aside completely.. because that is not what is important right now..

          I wish Rod the best during his surgery.. and a quick a speedy recovery!!

          It has been so weird not having him out there on the field.. He has been a bronco as long as I have been a fan.. So it will be sad when he decides if he will retire or not. Just like When McCaffery retired. Its like the end of an era.. and will officially start a new begining.

          I hope he stays connected with the broncos somehow.. I think he loves the game too much to stay away. A coach would be a dream come true, that's for sure!


          • #6
            I wish him a speedy recovery.

            But it sounds like his body is telling him he can not do this anymore. & it breaks my heart. I hope if he does decide to stop playing, he stays with the team as a coach.

            to Rod Smith.


            • #7
              His football career is pretty much over. Good wishes to him though.

              Most likely his last touchdown catch as a Denver Bronco, thrown by Jay Cutler:



              • #8
                yea , even if he doesnt need an after market hip all this has got 2 take its toll , thanks 4 the memories , u the man


                • #9
                  Rod Smith your a great player I hope you have a full and speedy recovery.
                  Thanks Blondie for the Sig


                  • #10
                    best of luck to ya Rod.
                    Adopted player Lindsey


                    • #11
                      I wish he could get one last season in so we could send him into retirement with a winning season. Its been wierd without Rod out there but his influence is felt even without him on the field but on the side line. How many injured guys go to the games every week? I think Rod was there for all of them. Thanks for the memories Rod, you will be missed on the field but I hope you stay as a coach

                      2013,2014, and 2015 Adopt a Bronco: Champ Bailey, Marvin Austin and Matt Paradis


                      • #12
                        I'm glad that it is just resurfacing and not the total hip replacement. I hope that it goes well and Rod will not be in pain. I would really like to see him back out on the field catching balls for the Broncos. If that isn't possible I would like to see him kept on as a assistant receivers coach. I saw him during the last game talking to Brandon Marshall and coaching him and thought it was really awesome. Here's hoping for the best.