Vasiliy Lomachenko undergoes successful shoulder surgery; return in 2018 is possible

Vasiliy Lomachenko, of Ukraine, smiles after his victory against Jorge Linares, of Venezuela, during their WBA lightweight championship boxing match Saturday, May 12, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo)

Vasiliy Lomachenko’s return to the boxing ring has hit a minor speed bump.

Top Rank’s Bob Arum sought to have the man who is recognized by many as the sport’s pound for pound king compete in August. However, after injuries suffered in the second round of his May 12 bout with Jorge Linares — a fight he would win by 10th round knockout — the prospective Aug. 25 return has been postponed.

Lomachenko underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles and is currently in recovery. Rather than compete in August, there is hope that Lomachenko will be ready to defend his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles before the end of the year.

“Vasiliy had the anticipated injuries in his right shoulder, resulting from a dislocation event that he sustained during his fight on May 12,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache while citing a “270 degree” labral tear along with cartilage damage. “He underwent an arthroscopic repair of the labrum as anticipated with no complications. Based on the result of the surgical repair, we are optimistic for an excellent prognosis and for him to return to competition at his previous level of performance.”

Lomachenko suffered the injury in the second round of his showdown with Linares and it may have hampered his performance. The fight saw “Hi-Tech” suffer the first knockdown of his professional career in the sixth round. Despite the injury, Lomachenko managed to still put together an exceptional performance before a picture-perfect liver shot put down Linares for good in the 10th round.

There was speculation that Lomachenko would return and face WBO titleholder Ray Beltran in a unification bout in August but the injury has pushed that fight off of the table. Instead, Lomachenko will be on the mend and hopes to compete before the end of 2018.

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