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Injured Strikeforce heavyweight Shane Del Rosario shooting for 2012 return to MMA

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Shane del Rosario was on the fast track to superstardom in the Strikeforce heavyweight division. Undefeated after eleven professional fights, he was slated to take on fellow undefeated ex-Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier this past June in a clash between two of MMA's top heavyweight prospects.

And then fate intervened.

On April 14 earlier this year, another driver crossed the median and T-boned del Rosario's car, causing serious damage to the former Muay Thai world champion's back, herniating multiple discs and putting his mixed martial arts career on hold.

Del Rosario had previously hoped to return in mid-fall, but progress has been slow. He updated his injury status to We've got an excerpt below:

"I'm doing physical therapy three times a week and I'm having progress little by little. It seems to be to me that every week or two I feel a bit stronger, my endurance gets a little better or I'm able to last a bit longer but I still have some bad days where I can't get up or move very well, I start training and my back seizes up and I can't do anything. The accident definitely affected my life to a great degree."

"For me, what gets me motivated is having a fight to prepare for. Being a professional fighter, you want to be training and preparing for somebody but since I've been injured, my doctor's orders have been to just get healthy, nothing else and then I can start training. It's been tough. I'm not supposed to do anything. I'm not allowed to do what I like to do, go to the beach and surf or anything. I've just gotta sit around and do nothing. The sitting around makes me go nuts. I'm looking, hopefully now to have my return in January or February. I'm gonna try to shoot for a fight then but it all depends on how I feel and when I'm able to fully train again. As of right now, I'm still at 20-30 percent in my training."

Del Rosario still isn't back to training anything other than hitting pads, but he's hoping to begin wrestling and jiu-jitsu soon. 

The undefeated prospect has been forced to sit on the sidelines and watch his intended opponent Daniel Cormier step in as an alternate into the heavyweight grand prix, upset Antonio Silva and become a top 10 ranked heavyweight in the world. He's very eager to get back on track.

So what do you think Maniacs?

After delaying his return once already, will del Rosario be able to make it back with his current timetable? Will he be able to return to his previous form?

Sound off!

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