Well, it looks like our suspicions and worries about Shane Carwin have been confirmed.
UFC president Dana White has announced that Carwin won't be making his return at the upcoming The Ultimate Fighter season finale against Roy Nelson.
White set things in stone via Twitter, saying that the hunt's officially on to find a new opponent for "Big Country" before the December 15th card:
WOW!! It never ends. Carwin blew his knee out. Looking for a new opponent for Roy on the TUF Finale on FX.
Carwin had actually reported himself injured earlier this year but planned to recover in time for his matchup with Nelson.
That won't be the case anymore, as this injury will definitively sideline the 37-year-old Carwin for the rest of 2012 and most likely a large chunk of 2013. Carwin last stepped into the Octagon on June 11, 2011, losing a brutal one-sided striking match against current champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 131.
Pickings for a worthy headliner may be slim right now, as several other heavyweights are either injured or already have fights scheduled.
Currently, The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale on FX also features a heavyweight bout between Shane del Rosario and Pat Barry. Both men are coming off hard losses, but it's conceivable that one of them might get the call to step in for Carwin.