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Shoulder Injury Expected To Keep Anderson Silva Out Until Early 2012

UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will sit out the rest of 2011 as he recovers from a shoulder injury.

OAKLAND CA:  Anderson Silva speaks to the crowd after defeating Chael Sonnen in the UFC Middleweight Championship bout to retain his title at Oracle Arena in Oakland California.  (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
OAKLAND CA: Anderson Silva speaks to the crowd after defeating Chael Sonnen in the UFC Middleweight Championship bout to retain his title at Oracle Arena in Oakland California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

As expected, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva plans to sit out the remainder of 2011 while he recovers from a shoulder injury sustained in preparation for his title defense against Yushin Okami at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Silva's manager, Ed Soares, confirmed the news to MMA Fighting over the weekend.

The pound-for-pound king surprised pundits by revealing the injury in the aftermath of UFC 134. A worst-case scenario represented a possible surgery that would sideline the Brazilian for much longer, however it now appears that a rehabilitation period is all that will be necessary.

"A month before the fight I injured my shoulder while training with Junior dos Santos and I was feeling a lot of pain in Rio. I've had to take some medicine and warn the athletic commission about it," Silva explained to Tatame after his victory over Okami. "I've talked to my doctors. I had an MRI and then I started feeling pains in my shoulder but the doctors let me go and said it was not that serious. It's a small injury, but I guess it's on the cuff and bothers me. I'll rest for a while and get healed."

According to Soares, "The Spider" expects to return to action sometime in early 2012. Many expect the winner of Brian Stann vs. Chael Sonnen to receive the next shot at Silva's belt.