Anderson Silva may be surpassing the expectations of his physical recovery, but he still has to deal with the "mental block" that arises with such a gruesome injury.
According to his doctor in Brazil, the former UFC middleweight champion has been cleared to begin sparring once again, but did not give an exact timetable for his recovery over the next few months. He is unlikely to make his return before sometime in 2015.
"He was already cleared by his doctors in the United States, but he likes to hear my opinion because I was with him in every step of his recovery, including the surgery," Dr. Marcio Tannure told MMAFighting.com on Friday. "There's no exact recovery timetable for this type of injury. It could take three months or one year, but he had a good recovery and we're happy. It's going as we expected."
Dr. Tannure also alluded to the fact that Silva would need to overcome the mental block and lack of confidence that arise from such injury setbacks. He stated that Silva still feels "unsafe" when he strikes with that leg and it will take time to overcome that uncertainty.
"It would be really premature to say something now, he hasn't even sparred yet," Dr. Tannure said. "His recovery was great, but now we have to work on his mind and get rid of the mental block. It could take a while, maybe not. It would be really hard to say right now he can or can't fight this year. It's not the moment, and he's the one that is going to feel it.
"That’s the toughest barrier to overcome. He will only lose this fear with training, and then he will know if he’s ready to fight or not."