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Cena Comments on Recovery
Wednesday, Jan. 13
Cena Out with Shoulder Injury, May Miss WrestleMania
Wednesday, Jan. 6
Cena, 38, just returned to Raw on Dec. 28 after a two-month hiatus. He had taken a break to film American Grit, a reality show coming to Fox later this year.
It's unclear when Cena suffered the injury, though Dr. Jeffrey Dugas, who performed the surgery, revealed to WWE.com that Cena "had a complete tear of a small portion of the rear rotator cuff tendon, the infraspinatus—toward the top-back of his shoulder." James Wortman of WWE.com noted, "Dr. Dugas addressed deterioration that had occurred in Cena’s AC joint."
Upon Cena's return on Dec. 28, he faced Alberto Del Rio in a match for the United States Championship that ended in disqualification. Cena did not appear on the Jan. 4 episode of Raw, and no reason was given for his absence.
While Cena has no formal prognosis at this time, his loss is nothing short of a crushing blow to WWE. The company is already without Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Nikki Bella, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd, among others. Shoulder injuries have become almost an epidemic, with Cesaro and Orton sitting out with bum shoulders. Jey Uso also spent most of 2015 on the shelf because of shoulder surgery.
Obviously, this is a huge deal from a booking perspective as well.
The Del Rio reign as U.S. champion has gone over about as well as lukewarm milk. There was a large sect of fans who were hoping a brief Cena-Del Rio feud would put the strap back on Cena's waist and perhaps resume the open challenge that brought life back to the secondary title.
As it stands, Del Rio is now in a rivalry with Kalisto, and the two have been exchanging the U.S. championship.
Geno Mrosko of SB Nation's Cageside Seats noted Cena's injury could also keep him out of WrestleMania 32, where he'd long been rumored to be facing the Undertaker. That WrestleMania 32 match on April 3 could be the last of Undertaker's career, and pitting him against Cena would have been a fitting end in what WWE hopes will be an all-time great event in Dallas.
There's no positive way to spin this. WWE's going to have to scramble hard to save the cards for its two biggest pay-per-views with Cena out.
Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.