KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- To the delight of Vol fans everywhere, senior offensive lineman Trey Smith announced on January 9 that he would spend his senior season with the Volunteers.
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Watch Trey Smith's announcement here
Smith's future with the Vols hasn't always been certain, however. In October 2018, he was sidelined after physicians discovered the recurrence of blood clots in his lungs.
After the discovery, Smith sought treatment in order to be able to return and play for the team. In August 2019, he was cleared and began participating in light practice and played in the Vols' season opener against Georgia and has played on the team consistently since then.
On Thursday, the head team physician for the University of Tennessee's Athletics Department, Dr. Chris Klenck spoke to media about Smith's treatment and recovery process.
"In October of that year, Trey presented during practice with some signs and symptoms that were somewhat worrisome for a recurrent blood clot episode," Dr. Klenck said. "We did perform some tests at the hospital that evening." The doctor said Smith's results were also "somewhat worrisome" and he began treatment for the episodes again.
After that, Dr. Klenck said they met with several specialists throughout the country and a plan was developed to allow Smith to play with minimal risk.
"We implemented that plan this past season. Trey did an outstanding job of sticking with the plan and working with us," Dr. Klenck said. "As you all know, he was able to excel."
A treatment plan with the specialists was then developed to help minimize Trey's risk for blood clots.
The doctor said that they will fine-tune their plan and continue it into his last season.
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