It’s been little more than a week since Anderson Silva’s leg broke when UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman checked one of his kicks during their UFC 168 rematch on Dec. 28. But in the Golden Age of social media and instant access, we all want to know if and when he’ll be back.
Silva, though, isn’t ready to talk about it just yet. And who could blame him?
He suffered a fairly traumatic injury. Silva launched a leg kick, and Weidman checked it. As he did so, both the tibia and fibula in Silva’s left leg snapped, sending the forming champion to the mat, writhing in pain.
Silva was immediately transported to a Las Vegas hospital for emergency surgery.
The surgery went well, and Silva will heal, but it’s still a matter of time before we know how long the recovery will take, and whether or not he’ll ever set foot in the Octagon again once he does recover.
One man who believes he will return is his manager, Jorge Guimaraes.
“I believe so,” Guimaraes told MMAWeekly.com, confirming his initial comments to TMZ.com. “He's in great spirits. You know, only time will tell, but the surgery was a success. The progress is visible. I believe he will (fight again).”
When Silva might return – if he chooses to do so – is another matter.
The repair included inserting a titanium rod that runs the length of his tibia for stabilization. The surgeon that performed the operation said that Silva’s leg should heal within three to six months, and that he could be training again within six to nine months, but those are approximations.
Guimaraes believes that Silva could be fighting again within a year.
“He's chilling with his family. He needs a little time for himself. I spoke to him briefly, and you know, that would be a perfect time for him to regroup; see what he's gonna do now,” Guimaraes told MMAWeekly.com. “But I definitely believe he's gonna fight again. I see that spark. I think in one year he'll be back.
“He's very positive. He was crushed the day that it happened, of course. But it's all good man. He's in great spirits right now. I believe he's gonna come back stronger.”
That’s not to say that Guimaraes didn’t have initial concerns about how devastating this injury might be for his friend.
“That's one thing that I wasn't certain, just watching him, even the next day after having the surgery, he was very sensitive,” said Guimaraes. “But right now, he's just going back to normal. He's in great spirits. He feels great. The doctors are very optimistic. He's optimistic too, just from the hearing the doctors.”
Anderson Silva is a fighter that hasn’t taken a lot of damage over the course of his career, much less than many of his counterparts. That certainly plays in his favor, despite being 38 years old, which is typically considered at the tail end of an athlete’s competitive career.
The fact that he is such a highly trained, high-level athlete also plays in his favor, as many athletes tend to recover towards the quicker end of the spectrum.
Regardless, Silva faces a long road back, whether or not he decides to step in the Octagon and fight again. But he’s currently hunkered down with his family, reportedly in good spirits, and prepared to endeavor the months-long journey back to full strength.
“He's sitting back right now. The guy is just thinking about other things, spending some time with his family here in Los Angeles. He feels good though,” said Guimaraes.
“It's gonna be a lot of physical therapy, but he's in the right place,” he continued.
“It might take a year, but I think no later than one year, he'll be back.”