Keith Thurman Undergoes Elbow Surgery, Expected to Miss at Least 6 Months

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 04: Undefeated WBA and WBC Welterweight Champion Keith 'One Time' Thurman after defeating Danny 'Swift' Garcia in a split decision at Barclays Center on  March 4, 2017 in the borough of Brooklyn, New York City.. (Photo by Douglas DeFelice/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Welterweight boxing champion Keith Thurman announced Friday that he will miss six months after undergoing surgery on his right elbow. 

According to ESPN.com's Dan Rafael, Thurman said the surgery was successful and preached the importance of taking a cautious approach to his return:

"One thing for sure, the doctor doesn't want me to rush back into action. You can't jump back into the race too soon. It might start to feel good after a month or two, but you don't want to rush it. My right elbow's job is to launch punches like a missile. It might feel good, but it might not be able to sustain that. It might cause inflammation to develop, and then you have to wait to let it calm down and feel better. I figure a four-month recovery will be quick. The doctor recommended six months of no action before training. I won't rush it."

The 28-year-old Thurman is 28-0 in his career and is the unified welterweight titleholder after retaining his WBA (Super) welterweight title and winning the WBC welterweight title from Danny Garcia in March.

Per Rafael, Thurman said the elbow injury caused him pain entering the bout against Garcia:

"I had loose bodies in the elbow, similar to what baseball pitchers have. They had to go in and take out the loose bodies and calcium deposits. It was getting in the way of the hinging of the elbow and when I threw a punch. It was causing pain and inflammation. I noticed it before the Danny Garcia fight. There was no way to get rid of it without the surgery. I'm healing and getting the function back so that I can be pain free."

While Thurman expressed hope that he could potentially fight later in 2017, he acknowledged that his next contest may not take place until 2018.

The Ring currently ranks Thurman as the No. 1 welterweight in the world, while IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook comes in at No. 2.