Doctor clears Anderson Silva to begin sparring, cautions 'Spider' to 'start slowly'

USA TODAY Sports

But judging by these videos, that's a precaution that may have already gone out the window.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva now has the green light to begin sparring, nearly six months after shattering his shin against Chris Weidman at the UFC 168 pay-per-view (PPV) event last December in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dr. Marcio Tannure talks to MMA Fighting:

"He was already cleared by his doctors in the United States, but he likes to hear my opinion because I was with him in every step of his recovery, including the surgery. There's no exact recovery timetable for this type of injury. It could take three months or one year, but he had a good recovery and we're happy. It's going as we expected. It would be really premature to say something now, he hasn't even sparred yet."

I guess Dr. Tannure missed this video.

Silva (33-6) has been releasing a steady stream of recovery videos on social media, which in turn has led mixed martial arts (MMA) fans to speculate as to when "The Spider" might return. While preliminary estimates put him back inside the cage in early 2015, his physician cautions him to start slowly.

"His recovery was great, but now we have to work on his mind and get rid of the mental block. It could take a while, maybe not. It would be really hard to say right now he can or can't fight this year. It's not the moment, and he's the one that is going to feel it. He has to start slowly. It still is really hard for him to work on that. He feels unsafe now, maybe sees some images on his head, so we can't demand too much from him right now. That's the toughest barrier to overcome. He will only lose this fear with training, and then he will know if he's ready to fight or not."

Silva afraid? Pfffft.

The good new is, there seems to be no shortage of challengers lining up to welcome Silva back to the Octagon, including this former champion, and despite a pair of high-profile losses, it's important to remember the Brazilian has looked invincible against anyone not named Weidman.

For now.

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