By Ryan Maquiñana
After Andre Ward was forced to pull out of a scheduled super middleweight title defense against Kelly Pavlik, he released a statement through his publicist, Julie Goldsticker:
“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,” Ward said. “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.”
Ward is tentatively scheduled to have surgery late next week in the Bay Area.
“I’m working with one of the best orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists in Northern California, and I know that I will come back stronger than before. I appreciate all the support that I’ve already received and my fans can rest assured that I’m going to be back in the ring as soon as possible,” Ward said. “Despite the injury, I still plan to have a big 2013 and hope to have two fights in the New Year.”
“I was really looking forward to the fight with Pavlik. Everything was on board and situations happen, but I wish Kelly Pavilk and his team nothing but the best in the future,” he added.
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) was slated to meet Pavlik (40-2, 34 KOs) on Jan. 26 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, but injured his shoulder during a sparring session with middleweight Tony Hirsch.
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.