Smith posted a message on his Twitter account Tuesday after finding out he would be back in Detroit.
"Just finished a great work out with frank gore, and Matt forte and just found out I will be back n the d next year. #imback," he wrote.
The 25-year-old Smith rejoined the Lions during the 2011 season after not being tendered a contract during the offseason and helped to fill the void left when concussions derailed Jahvid Best's season and rookie Mikel Leshoure tore his left Achilles tendon. He scored seven touchdowns (four rushing, three receiving) and gained 356 yards on 72 carries. He also had 22 receptions for 179 yards.
Best, who missed the final 10 games of the 2011 season, has been cleared to resume workouts, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter earlier this month. He led the Lions in rushing with 390 yards despite only playing in six games.
Detroit drafted Smith in the third round in 2008 and he ran for nearly 1,000 yards and caught 39 passes as a rookie.
Smith accounted for 1,000-plus yards of offense in 13 games of his second season before tearing the ACL in his left knee. He came back slowly in 2010 and played in six games but then suffered a season-ending thumb injury.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.