When it comes to recovery from serious injury, John Cena is like Deadpool.
His history speaks for itself, from a shocking early return following pectoral surgery at the 2008 Royal Rumble to quickly coming back from a neck injury in three months that same year.
Cena is a freak of nature, a workout warrior and, as a result, a recovery machine. The 15-time world champion has periodically updated the wrestling world on his progress following his Jan. 7 shoulder surgery, which of course seems to be going better than expected.
This is no surprise for Cena, who was expected to miss upwards of a year of action in 2008 per WWE.com following a pectoral tear. After forfeiting the WWE Championship, few, if any, expected Cena to be a a part of the WrestleMania picture, let alone the Royal Rumble match. But right on cue, he returned in January, several months ahead of schedule, in one of the most memorable moments in Royal Rumble history.
Cena's 2008 neck injury was even more serious, and even after displaying inhuman recovery, most anticipated a slow, steady recovery. Cena's healing process was so remarkable, WWE dedicated an entire video package to it.
"I examined him, checked him, his strength had already begun to return and he asked me if he could leave the hospital," WWE doctor Joseph Maroon said of Cena's surgery.
Given his history, it is not out of the question Cena will be healed ahead of the April 3 deadline, just in time to compete at WrestleMania 32.
The latest development in Cena's ongoing recovery came with a cryptic tweet that suggested he might be able to return sooner rather than later:
Fans have every right to read into this tweet as an encouraging sign that Cena can make it back in time for a historic Dallas event. With Cena's movie career beginning to take off and his American Grit reality show set to launch, there's no telling how many WrestleManias he has left in him as a full-time star.
WWE has already begun the process of cementing Roman Reigns as the next top babyface. Meanwhile, Cena has settled into an effective niche as an upper-midcard gatekeeper. With so many injuries currently affecting the WWE roster, Cena's return will be an unquestionable boost—one that could solve the current quandary of who should face The Undertaker.
A match against The Deadman wouldn't be ideal for Cena's tender shoulder. Cena would have to take more bumps against the aging big man. But both men are shrewd veterans who will be able to get around their limitations in a special attraction match.
Furthermore, Cena vs. Undertaker sells itself. The match would be a major draw beyond what the two could do in the ring. Any brilliance in the ring would be a bonus, and I'd fully expect them to exceed expectations.
Cena is not working out tirelessly and posting injury updates for a post-WrestleMania return, which was the initial timeline for his recovery, per James Caldwell and Wade Keller of PWTorch.
It's almost unfathomable that WWE will have its biggest WrestleMania of all time without the biggest star of this generation, and Cena realizes this.
For Cena, returning to action multiple months ahead of schedule for what could be one of his final WrestleMania matches sounds like just another day at the office for a living legend.