University of Maine quarterback Warren Smith has begun what is expected to be a lengthy but successful recovery after undergoing foot surgery on Nov. 16.
Smith, a sophomore transfer from Iona College, injured his left foot during the James Madison game on Nov. 7. He suffered an injury known as Lisfranc’s fracture, which is a rare and dangerous condition that involves a fracture and dislocation of the joint between the forefoot and midfoot.
Smith said the injury is the same one sustained last season by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney.
According to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, if Lisfranc’s fracture is misdiagnosed or left untreated, the patient can experience prolonged disability, including arthritis.
“My big-toe bone and my middle-toe bone, where they connect at the midfoot was separated by a couple millimeters,” Smith said. “I had to get it fused back together.”
Smith, who gets around using crutches, is not allowed to put any weight on the foot for the time being. He spent the first week after the surgery on total bed rest.
“I hated every second of it,” said Smith who, since getting up on crutches a week ago, has been doing pushups and situps in an attempt to maintain whatever level of fitness he can.
Smith is expected to be in a cast for four or five more weeks before he can begin rehabilitation. He has been told he can expect a complete recovery.
“[My doctor] told me it’s going to be better than it was [originally],” Smith said. “Minor setbacks make for huge comebacks.”
Smith said he expects to participate in spring practice.
Smith is coming off a season during which he completed 150 of 260 passes (.612) good for 1,695 yards with 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. UMaine led the Colonial Athletic Association in passing offense with 247.6 yards per game.
Smith played in eight games, starting six, and finished as the Bears’ No. 2 rusher with 74 carries for 205 yards and 2 TDs.
He is looking forward to the offseason, during which there is expected to be a renewed battle for the starting job with classmate Chris Treister of Cape Elizabeth. Treister passed for 771 yards and seven scores while completing 72 percent of his passes, starting the last two games in Smith’s absence.
“I had no doubt in my mind that he was going to go out there and play well,” Smith said.
“I feel like competition like that is needed. I feed off it and I feel like it makes us better as a unit. It helps us push each other.”
Smith also praised freshmen Marcus Wasilewski and John Ebeling as other good, young quarterbacks on the team.