(Now seems like as good a time as any to start talking. PicProps: Squabbles.com)
Though his agent said doctors didn’t know the full extent of Shane Carwin’s injuries until after he went under the knife in Colorado this week, the surgery to repair “neck, back and nerve problems” on the UFC heavyweight contender was reportedly successful. The big guy will be able to get back to contact training in 8-12 weeks and is hoping to return to action in the Octagon sometime during the Spring of 2011, according to an MMAFighting.com story out on Thursday.
"It went as good as it could have, but it was worse than we thought it was, if that makes sense …,” said Carwin agent Jason Genet. “The doctor said he was surprised Shane could compete with the damage as it was, but with the surgery, there’s no reason he won’t be able to fight and possibly even perform at a higher level. Once Shane gets back into the motions, we think it’ll be relatively quick for him to get into fighting shape. He’s not a guy who has a lot of ring rust."
Let us say without a hint of sarcasm or snark that this is great news. After Carwin had to pull out of his UFC 125 fight with Roy Nelson many of us media types were worried how extensive surgery might affect the 35-year-old, 265-plus pounder. It’s good to hear such a positive prognosis. Now, let’s address the issue everyone has been thinking about whenever we read anything about Carwin during the last few months: When can we expect the statement he promised us on that whole steroid thing?
After Carwin’s name unexpectedly showed up on a list of professional athletes federal prosecutors say ordered steroids from a nefarious online pharmacy, Genet released word that Carwin “had no comment, but plans to make a statement at a later date." That was August 14. So far, we haven’t heard any kind of explanation, declaration of innocence or mea culpa from Carwin and the longer he waits, the worse it looks for him.
The Potato has always liked Carwin. He’s smart and funny and in the past has been an on-again, off-again friend to this website … you know, when he wasn’t too mad at us. He’s a good sport and he’s good for the sport and that’s exactly why he needs to address this thing and get it behind him. He needs to do it in an interview with one of the major MMA news sites. He needs to do it fully and answer all their questions. He needs to do it soon. Most importantly, he shouldn’t do it on Twitter.
If he doesn’t, the cloud cast by performance enhancing drugs is going to follow him the rest of his career. Every time fans see a story about him, they’ll wonder, “Is this the one where Carwin tells us if he used steroids?” Any MMA site worth its salt will forever preface his name with some variation of the phrase “Still mum on steroids …,” and when they don’t mention it, well, everybody will notice that too.
If we never get an explanation from Carwin about how his name wound up on that list, our eyebrows will go up every time we see news about an injury, about how “doctors were surprised he could compete with the damage as it was” or references to him vomiting from pain pills, like in today’s story.
We’re not saying that’s right, we’re just saying that’s the reality of fan/media perception in 2010. We’re also not trying to kick the guy when he’s down, we’re just saying that after a bit of recovery and with a stretch of doctor-ordered time off in front of him, maybe now would be a good time to get it out of the way.