(CBS News) - Alex Smith, who overcame a catastrophic leg injury to play again in the NFL, ends his remarkable comeback season with a 60 Minutes interview to be broadcast Sunday, January 17 at 7 p.m. on News 3.
In his first one-on-one interview since his Washington Football Team ended its season, the comeback quarterback tells Norah O'Donnell what it felt like to compete again professionally after an injury that endangered his life, and nearly cost him a limb, more than two years ago.
Smith's wife, Elizabeth, joins him in another interview. O'Donnell also speaks with Washington Football Team Head Physician Dr. Robin West and to Dr. Joe Alderete, a colonel in the U.S. Army and the surgical director at the military's Center for the Intrepid in San Antonio.
After his injury and recovery from stage-two sepsis—a potentially life-threatening reaction to an infection in his leg—Smith embarked on thousands of hours of physical therapy and grueling workouts to regain his strength and functionality.
He received special permission from the Pentagon to visit the Center for the Intrepid on several occasions and have Dr. Alderete and other staff members consult on his comeback. Dr. Alderete calls Smith his "capstone patient," and says of the 1,000 or so military patients he's seen who have attempted to salvage a severely damaged limb, "less than a dozen" have been able to return to the level of functionality that Smith attained.
Smith followed in the footsteps of the some of the most elite U.S. special operation forces who redeployed after salvaging their own limbs.
In addition, Johnny Owens, the Center's former chief physical therapist and the founder of Owens Recovery Science, talks to O'Donnell about Smith's recovery, and how the center for the Intrepid mentally prepared him for the comeback.