On a recent media conference call (audio below), the orthopedic surgeon who performed surgery on Anderson Silva's injured leg on Sunday said that the former UFC champion had a return to training on his mind before even undergoing surgery.
"He has spontaneously mentioned me in the pre-op area, his question was, ‘When can I train?'," the surgeon Steven Sanders said.
"And he has asked me every time, when I see him on my rounds, he asks: ‘Will I be able to train? When can I train?' And I have always indicated to him that he should be able train."
It is not surprising that a fighting champion as driven as Silva had his mind on returning to practicing his craft the very night his leg was broken twice in grisly fashion at UFC 168. It's also great to hear such optimism from his surgeon that "The Spider" should be able to recover his health, even if it is a long process.
“We’re not even 48 hours from the surgery, and tibia fractures, though we can get them to heal, can have a slower healing. My prognosis for healing is three to six months. But there are also soft tissue components that have to heal. If I had to make a guess less than 48 hours from the operation, it would be the fracture healing in three to six months, and attempting to train, six to nine months. You don't rehab a broken bone, it heals itself," Sanders went on.
Silva is months away from turning 39, a young man still but an old fighter. The surgeon does not believe that the fighter's age will impede his healing but reminded that there is soft tissue damage in addition to the bone breaks and how that tissue recovers will be crucial to how well and when Silva will be back in fighting form.
"How soft tissue regenerates will be the key to how he can throw and land leg kicks again," he said.
If Anderson Silva has his mind on returning to the Octagon, his 15 year-old son Kalyl told Brazilian outlet R7 that he wants his fighter to retire. According to a google translation of the story, Silva's son said "I hope he retires and goes home because I'm tired of watching my father train every day and be gone for two or three months at a time."
"As always, you are my champion, father. And once again, good job Chris [Weidman]," the young Silva concluded.
Check out the entire UFC media conference call with Silva's surgeon below. Let us know if you want to see Silva back in the cage or if you wouldn't mind the legend riding off into the sunset and retiring.