However, the Brazilian apparently wants to keep fighting and go through with the rehab to compete in the UFC again someday.
“In the pre-op area, his question was, ‘When can I train?’” Dr. Steven Sanders, the UFC’s orthopedic surgeon, said of Silva. “And he asks every time I see him on my rounds – ‘When can I train?’ – and I always indicate to him he should be able to train. It’s important to be positive with your patient.”
Silva has been ruled out for three months, but doctors note it's more likely that he'll be sidelined for six to nine months.
“We’re not even 48 hours from the surgery, and tibia fractures, though we can get them to heal, can have a slower healing,” Sanders said. “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.
“As an orthopedic surgeon, when any injury occurs, we like to know that it’s from the trauma and not from some unsuspected underlying condition,” he said. “From the x-rays, I looked at the character of the bone to see if there was any predisposition to why it would break. Obviously, he’s been training and competing most of his life. There was no apparent predisposing pathology in that bone that would have led to this particular event occurring at that time.”
While Silva is sidelined, it's expected that Vitor Belfort will be next in line to fight Chris Weidman for the UFC's middleweight championship belt.