World super-middleweight boxing champion Andre Ward announced Thursday that he will undergo shoulder surgery next week to repair a small tear in his shoulder capsule, a development that will lead his scheduled early 2013 opponent, former world middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik, to take a fight in the interim.
Although Ward promoter Dan Goossen said the unbeaten Oakland fighter could return to boxing by "the summer," Pavlik promoter Bob Arum said that's "way too optimistic from the six-month recovery timetable process I've heard."
So Arum said Pavlik will take a fight in the interim, and added it's unclear whether Pavlik will be Ward's next opponent, which Goossen agreed with.
In his statement, Ward said:
“When I first got injured, there was a lot of inflammation, and the MRI was misread by the first radiologist. I’ve been doing extensive rehab and the shoulder was getting stronger, but after three and a half weeks of rehab, there was still slight pain that had me concerned enough to get two additional opinions. It was then diagnosed that there is a small tear in my shoulder capsule. It’s not a major tear, but I can either rest it and see if it heals itself or speed up the process by surgically repairing it, and be stronger than I was before the injury and that’s what we opted to do.