Dunivan: Smith eager to get back on the field for Fairview soccer

Trust me, you don’t want to hear some of the details of Reci Smith’s injury during Fairview’s 2014 playoff run, which for her ended in the second round and for her team the Class 5A quarterfinals.

All you need to know is there were breaks, a lot of pain and an ensuing surgical procedure that will keep Smith shelved this summer.

That said, it’s been a little more than a week since the injury occurred and Smith is in pretty good spirits and ready to move along in her rehabilitation.

“I wasn’t at school all week, but it’s definitely getting better,” Smith said in a phone interview this past weekend. “It’ll be four or five months before I can start training again, but this summer will be a lot of stuff that doesn’t include weight-bearing. Six to eight weeks on crutches, then I’ll probably have a boot after that.

“But I’m going to start physical therapy in a couple weeks already. Hopefully it will be four months or less. I’m looking to come back next year and do even more than we did this year.”

Smith suffered two broken bones in the same leg, both the left tibia and left fibula, on a play in which it appeared she was going to score on during Fairview’s second round game against ThunderRidge. A perfectly placed pass had her on a breakaway against the goalie, but within seconds it turned into the worst possible scenario for the Knights.

Fairview rallied behind Issi Stahl’s penalty-kick goal, but with Smith and her 21 goals sitting on the bench at Shea Stadium against Mountain Vista in the next round, the offense just didn’t finish enough chances in a 2-0 loss, ending the season.

Smith wasn’t the only one to suffer a season-ending injury. Hailey Nichols, a junior classmate, and senior Melissa Cuddington were out for the season early on. Thus, health was not in Fairview’s corner in what was a fantastic season.

The rest of the team’s seniors did a pretty cool thing for the injured trio, making headbands for the entire squad that included their numbers and initials and wearing them for the Mountain Vista game and throughout that school day.

“That was awesome,” Smith said.

As far as the big picture is concerned, Smith has already long committed verbally to Wake Forest to play soccer, so that provided a big sigh of relief for her.

For the next few months, she said her and Nichols are going to attack their rehab together as much as possible, ready to take the 2015 Fairview squad even further.

“She was one of the first people I talked to, and we are already talking about PT and that kind of stuff,” Smith said. “Obviously I wouldn’t want to wish an injury on anybody, but it’s nice to have somebody right there, pushing you and wanting to recover just as much as I do.”

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