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ESPN documentary detailing Alex Smith’s recovery premieres Friday

The one-hour show takes a deep dive into the gruesome injury that put him near death — and his journey to try to return to the field.

Former Kansas City Chiefs (and now Washington Redskins) quarterback Alex Smith — who led the Chiefs to the postseason in four of his five seasons in Kansas City — will be the subject of a new ESPN documentary that will premiere Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Arrowhead Time.

Entitled “Project 11,” the one-hour documentary chronicles Smith’s return from a horrifying compound fracture in his right tibia and right fibula that he suffered 17 months ago in a game against the Houston Texans.

Almost immediately, there were questions about whether the 14-year NFL veteran would ever play football again — and at some points, there was even doubt he would survive.

The documentary was driven by ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell, who has spent a full year covering Smith’s recovery, which has included 17 surgeries and took place alongside U.S. military veterans injured in combat.

The show will go into precise detail about the seriousness of Smith’s injury, using never-before-seen (and occasionally graphic) images.

In a press release for the show, E60 executive producer Andy Tennant said that Smith wanted to document his story.

“No NFL player has ever been through what Alex Smith has. He’s normally a very private person but he wanted to document his road to recovery as well and as detailed as possible, with the hope that future players could use it as a road map.

“The access that he and his family granted to E60 is incredible and viewers will see a story of strength, dedication and perseverance.”

The hour will include interviews with his Smith, his wife Elizabeth, his physical therapist Seth Blee, Urban Meyer — Smith’s head coach while playing at Utah — and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.

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