GSP Hopeful for November Return in Montreal

March 21, 2012

Rehabilitation from any major surgery is a slow, drawn out process. It’s not any different, even if you are UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

An athlete in top condition, like GSP, can accelerate the healing process, but it still doesn’t go away completely. And that’s something St-Pierre and his fans have had to come to accept.

As much as everyone wants to see St-Pierre back in the Octagon, defending his belt, the champ continues to warn that his return from ACL surgery is a lengthy process. In fact, even though he’s feeling great, now is one of the most critical times for him to restrain his desire to push harder and attempt to come back too soon.

“My rehab is going really well. My doctor says it is the fastest rehab they have seen for an ACL surgery,” said St-Pierre at Wednesday’s press conference in Calgary. “Even though I’m feeling almost 100 percent right now, I’m halfway through my rehab and I can’t push too much because my graph is still not fused properly.”

The UFC announced a trio of dates and location for Canadian events in 2012, and it’s surely no coincidence that St-Pierre’s hometown of Montreal is on the docket for UFC 154 on Nov. 17, the same timeframe that St-Pierre has been targeting for his return.

St-Pierre would like nothing better than to be ready for a showdown with interim champion Carlos Condit at the Bell Centre, but maybe as much to keep his own hopes in check as those of his fans, he won’t say that he plans to be ready by then.

“Hopefully I’ll have a chance to fight in front of my Canadian fans in November, but (UFC president Dana White) is the boss and he is the one that decides everything. But hopefully, I cross my fingers, and I hope that will happen,” said GSP.

“I wish and I pray that I have a chance to perform in 2012, no matter where it will be. I want to come back and fight in 2012.”

Even White, who will “take him as soon as we can get him,” was cautiously optimistic about GSP’s return happening later this year in Canada.

“It depends on when he is healed and when the fight could happen,” White said, tiptoeing around the issue. “Obviously Georges St-Pierre fighting anywhere around the world is big. Georges St-Pierre, I’ve said it many times, he’s pound for pound the biggest pay-per-view star in the sport. We’ll see what his timetable is on his return and we’ll go from there.”

But GPS or no GSP, Canadian fans will be rewarded for their patience with three pay-per-view events in 2012 and three more events in 2013.

Follow @KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken Pishna.
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