Not even a severely broken left leg could keep fighting off of Anderson Silva's mind.
Just before surgery on Sunday morning to fix a broken tibia suffered the night before in UFC 168 vs. Chris Weidman, Silva asked his doctor, “When can I train?”
It sounds like an absurd question given the horrific nature of the injury, but UFC orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steven Sanders ultimately gave the Brazilian a tentative three to six month recovery time frame. Sanders also said Silva could possibly begin training in six to nine months.
Silva, 38, suffered the fractured tibia and fibula when attempting a low, left leg kick in the second, which Weidman checked perfectly. Silva was taken to a Las Vegas hospital and eventually had a titanium rod inserted into his tibia.
Sanders added that Silva's age shouldn't impact his recovery time whatsoever.
“When the fracture heals, the bone will achieve its original strength. In addition, it will also have a titanium rod that is 11.5 millimeters in diameter shoring up that area,” Sanders said on Monday. “Whether a fighter returns after injury can be multifactorial, but from a bone perspective, when the fracture heals, you can start to test the soft tissue.”
As awful as it looked, Sanders said it could've been much worse as Silva attempted to recapture the UFC middleweight title.
“An injury like that can go to where the skin breaks, and then you have this exposed bone in the area of the Octagon. His risk for infection goes up meteoric,” Sanders added.
Silva, who owns the UFC record with 16 straight wins, lost for the first time to Weidman this past summer.