After today's disappointing news about a torn ACL, surgery and potential recovery time of nearly a year, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre admits that he's going to have to work his way back to the top... literally.
St. Pierre and his doctor, Sebastian Simard, held a conference call with the media today to discuss the details related to the injury and what St. Pierre's plan for recovery is.
According to Simard, the problems all started when St. Pierre originally hurt his knee in preparation for Carlos Condit and was forced to pull out of that bout. Things were fine again after some physical therapy, but bad luck struck again on a different knee during a recent training session.
"He started back training and while doing wrestling, he tried to defend a takedown and at that time, he suffered a hyperextension on the right knee," Simard explained. "He felt pain and he heard a crack inside his knee at that time. It was terrible to walk and there was not much swelling on the knee so he tried to continue training but in the few days after, he felt the pain and the instability was increasing so he called me, he was in Vegas and we did an MRI on Monday morning.
"I saw Georges yesterday with the results of the MRI and the physical exam that I did confirmed that Georges suffered a complete tear of his ACL and a small tear of his internal meniscus on the right knee, which is not the same knee that he suffered the sprained MCL in mid-October."
According to Simard, surgery is an option that can't be worked around. St. Pierre will have his ACL reconstructed and his meniscus completely repaired, putting him on the shelf for 6-9 months. While other cases have had recovery time last even longer than that, Simard is confident that St. Pierre's recovery skills could have him back sooner than expected.
"I'm expecting a full recovery for Georges within 6-9 months," Simard said. "The success rate for this surgery is above 95 percent. I've been the treating doctor for Georges for five years now and I did two surgeries on him already for elbow endoscopy. His recovery rate is completely off the charts. He has an amazing genetics and he has extraordinary physical capabilities and I know Georges has the discipline and the determination that's gonna allow him to be back to the same level of competition that he was before the injury."
As for St. Pierre, he's frustrated with the events that have occurred and rightfully so. However, he pledges to return to form and continue to rule the UFC welterweight division in the near future.
"I believe that there is only one person to blame for what happened and it's myself," St. Pierre said. "I'm the kind of guy where sometimes I endure pain and go through it and that's what I do all the time. I learned a big lesson in my life and it's only gonna make me stronger, smarter and more clever. It's nobody else to blame, it's myself.
"A few months ago I was on top of the world but now I'm in a downfall, but you recognize a champion by how he comes back from a loss, not how he is when everything goes well. Everybody that says bad stuff about me now, mark my words, I'm gonna tell you right now, right now I'm in a downfall in my life, but in a few months I'm gonna be back stronger than ever and I will be champion again. I promise."