Anderson Silva shoulder injury likely to keep him sidelined until early 2012

via cdn.mmabay.co.uk

Contrary to popular belief -- and 14 Octagon appearances worth of visual evidence -- UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is not bulletproof.

His opponents may not be able to come close to hurting him but he's suffered his fair share of injuries, almost all of them during training. This past camp was no different, as "The Spider" injured his shoulder while preparing for his bout against Yushin Okami at UFC 134 on Aug. 27 in Brazil.

It didn't stop him from utterly dominating "Thunder," knocking him out in the second round. What's new, right?

It will, however, sideline him for the remainder of the year, as he's likely to ride the pine until early 2012 while he rehabilitates. That's the bad news. The good news is that he won't require surgery, as initially feared.

MMAFighting.com gets the word from Silva's manager, Ed Soares.

Anderson Silva's injured shoulder will most likely keep him out until early 2012, Silva's manager Ed Soares informed MMA Fighting on Saturday night.

Silva injured his shoulder in training for his UFC 134 fight against Yushin Okami last month, which he won via second-round TKO. There was some fear within his camp that he would have to undergo surgery, but Soares said Silva will simply need rehab to heal it.

It's unfortunate for UFC that its middleweight king is on the shelf for the remainder of the calendar year, especially when considering how distraught its fanbase is at the main events of a few upcoming fight cards.

UFC 139 (headlined by Vitor Belfort vs. Cung Le) and UFC 140 (headlined by Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir part deux) are two shows that don't exactly have fans racing to their remotes to order the pay-per-views.

The glass might be half full, though, when one stops to think about it. Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann will have their number one contender bout on Oct. 8 in Houston, Texas. The winner will have plenty of time to hype his ensuing title shot.

Especially if it's Sonnen.

Plus, Silva is 36-years-old and rapidly leaving his athletic prime. No need to rush back. The greatest fighter on Earth deserves a bit of a break, no?

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