When news first broke that former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva would have a legitimate shot at returning to mixed martial arts (MMA) competition by the end of 2014, I think most of us shared the same reaction.
"I'll believe it when I see it."
That's because Silva shattered his leg in one of the grisliest injuries ever seen inside the Octagon (video), thanks to a leg kick gone bad against Chris Weidman in the UFC 168 main event, which took place less than two months ago in Las Vegas, Nevada.
But as UFC President Dana White explained during a recent media scrum (watch it), Silva may not be bound by the limitations of mere mortals.
"The doctor came and showed me his bone tonight, his legs, and he said this is actually crazy, look at all the bone growth that he's had in eight weeks. Sometime you don't even see that in people over a couple years. It's pretty crazy. He could fight by the end of the year. We'll see what happens. Anything could happen. He could hurt it in training, anything is possible. Or start training again and not feel the same. We have a meeting with him on Wednesday, we'll see how it all plays out."
I would say "crazier things have happened," but I'm not sure anything would top "The Spider's" year-end return.
In the time since his no longer career-ending injury, Silva has been updating fans with media of his recovery, doing everything from walking down stairs to conquering the treadmill. Obviously, he still has a long way to go, but if he can overcome something as challenging as this.
Then what hope does the rest of the middleweight division have?