Keith Thurman will be sitting on the sideline for the foreseeable future.
The unified WBA/WBC welterweight titleholder underwent right elbow surgery on April 19 and will need six weeks to recover.
The procedure – in which calcium deposits were removed from the elbow – was performed by Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Thurman is now rehabbing the arm in Florida with an eye on returning before the end of the year.
“I had loose bodies in the elbow, similar to what baseball pitchers have. They had to go in and take out the loose bodies and calcium deposits,” said Thurman, 28. “It was getting in the way of the hinging of the elbow and when I threw a punch. It was causing pain and inflammation.
“I noticed it before the Danny Garcia fight. There was no way to get rid of it without the surgery. I’m healing and getting the function back, so that I can be pain free.”
— Keith Thurman Jr. (@keithfthurmanjr) May 19, 2017
Thurman (28-0, 22 knockouts) fought through severe pain in gaining a split decision victory over Garcia on March 4. The win earned Thurman another belt and recognition as THE RING Magazine’s No. 1 147-pounder.
With “One-Time” now holding two major titles, two mandatory defenses are to be ordered in the near future: a rematch of his stirring fight with former IBF titlist Shawn Porter and a matchup with Lamont Peterson.
“One thing for sure, the doctor doesn’t want me to rush back into action,’’ Thurman said. “You can’t jump back into the race too soon. It might start to feel good after a month or two but you don’t want to rush it. My right elbow’s job is to launch punches like a missile.
“It might feel good but it might not be able to sustain that. It might cause inflammation to develop and then you have to wait to let it calm down and feel better. I figure a four-month recovery will be quick. The doctor recommended six months of no action before training. I won’t rush it.”
Though Thurman eventually must meet Porter and Peterson in the ring as long as he holds both titles, the Clearwater, Florida, native possesses keen interest in the May 27 title showdown between IBF beltholder Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr.
“I’ll be tuning in and looking forward to the belt coming back to America and looking forward to seeing what Kell Brook has to offer at 147 pounds,” Thurman said. “I want to see if he wants to make his stand at 147. I like the idea of Spence showing everybody he’s the ‘Truth’ and Kell trying to show everybody how ‘Special’ he is.”
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