Conor McGregor is facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg in his trilogy loss to Dustin Poirier – and the Irishman has been warned not to rush his return to the Octagon.
Towards the end of the opening round in his fight with Poirier, the 33-year-old fell backwards after throwing a left-hand, before his ankle appeared to snap underneath him – causing the doctor to call an end to the bout.
Since then, McGregor has already undergone a successful three-hour surgery on his ankle and was discharged from the Cedars-Sinai hospital on the morning of his 33rd birthday.
His injury has been diagnosed as a broken tibia and fibula – and it doesn't look like the Notorious will be back anytime soon.
Physiotherapist Andrew Hedquist-Hall and Strength and Conditioning Coach Joe Johnson have both offered their expert opinion on the injury suffered by McGregor in Las Vegas on Saturday evening.
Hedquist-Hall, owner of Motion Physiotherapy, told Daily Star Sport: "With an injury such as the one Conor has had, with fractures to both his tibia and fibula, the recovery is quite dependent on the surgical process.
"It is well documented that an intramedullary rod has been inserted into the tibia and plates fixed to the fibula. With the support and provisions around him, I would imagine the recovery period to be from four to six months bearing in mind for a tibial injury alone peak recovery time is suggested to be around three months in sports that do not include direct impact to the shin in the form of kicking."
UFC president Dana White has told fans McGregor needs to be patient with his recovery.
But the outspoken fighter is known to push his body to the limit and will no doubt be itching to return to the Octagon as soon as he can.
However, Johnson, who owns and is the lead Strength and Conditioning Coach at Johnson Sporting Services, thinks McGregor's recovery will take time.
"The recovery process will to some extent be dictated by his consultants and surgeon’s Dr. ElAttrache and Milton Little," he also told Daily Star Sport.
"This includes Conor’s six weeks on crutches where he will most likely be able to weight bear as pain allows.
"For me, my advice would always be regarding pacing and around the concept of activity modification.
"He needs to take his time with the recovery and ensure everything is properly healed before rushing back into training, follow the process correctly and we could see McGregor back better than ever as he would have recovered from the tibia fracture and any niggling injuries that he may have had prior to that."
McGregor is nearing the business end of his MMA career, despite talk he could move into boxing or even a stint in WWE.
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And despite the severity of the injury, fans shouldn't be worried about this setback hampering the fighter's ability to perform.
"2016 statistics showed that 92 per cent of athletes return to sport following tibial fracture, compared to those treated with nonsurgical intervention with 67 per cent, so he is off to a good start," Hedquist-Hall continued.
"But it all depends on how Conor manages his return. If he does to much to soon to try and get back for a rematch then theres every chance of a further Injury occurring.
"But if him, and his team take their time with their recovery then longer term there shouldn’t really be that much of an effect."
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