Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Carlos Condit lost one year of his prime, thanks to an unfortunate injury suffered at UFC 171 back in March, one that sent "The Natural Born Killer" into reconstructive knee surgery.
In addition to a mangled anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Condit also left "The Lone Star State" with a partially-torn meniscus.
So you can imagine why the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 170-pound kingpin has been taking his recovery slow and steady, but assures the incomparable Duane Finley (via Bleacher Report) that barring any unforeseen circumstances, a spring 2015 return is not out of the question.
"I've basically been cleared to start doing some sparring and training as long as it is light. I have to be cautious of anything explosive movement-wise or doing anything too quickly. I can run, hit mitts and do plenty of other things. I just can't go 100 percent on anything yet. I can do jiu-jitsu from the ground but I have to be careful with explosive takedowns and things like that. All of my training partners have been great and know I'm not 100 percent right now, so they've been able to get their work in without putting my knee in danger. Right now, I'm looking at getting back into the cage in March or April. That's the plan and I'm working hard to make that happen."
Condit turns 31 in April.
What must be equally frustrating is that he has now dropped three of his last four fights and can't do anything about it (yet). That has to be a tough pill to swallow for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who was at one time considered the second-best welterweight in UFC.
Nevertheless, he remains ranked in the top five at 170 pounds.
Assuming Condit returns in spring 2015 -- and considering we will have a new welterweight landscape -- who would you like to see him face in his first fight back?