In injury news that won't affect the WWE landscape in quite the same way that John Cena's has, Curt Hawkins underwent surgery and is expected to be out indefinitely.
Hawkins sent out this message to his Twitter followers:
Don't know why I haven't said anything. Maybe It was denial, but I wanted you all to know that I tore my PCL & Meniscus. Had to have surgery— Curt Hawkins (@TheCurtHawkins) October 5, 2012
This news comes on top of Hawkins' tag team partner, Tyler Reks, surprising wrestling fans by retiring earlier this year.
That not only left Hawkins without a partner, but without a direction in the company. He has struggled to climb up the card and garner significant airtime.
He is now forced to sit on the proverbial bench for what could be several months.
Hawkins tore some important elements of his knee.
Menisci are cartilages that rest on the shin bone. Both the medial and lateral menisci serve to protect the knee from the stresses of physical activity.
Twisting, hyper-extending or other trauma can cause a meniscus to tear. Pro wrestling and physical trauma go hand in hand.
The PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) is a major ligament of the knee. It sits behind the more famous ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) which gets damaged in the course of athletic events more often than the PCL.
The PCL basically helps the knee resist forces that would push it in the wrong direction.
A PCL injury can often damage other surrounding parts such as the meniscus in this case. Often one can recover from this injury without undergoing surgery.
One would assume then that Hawkins' tear is severe, as it did indeed force him to go under the knife.
WWE Superstars experience this type of blow regularly. Hawkins, like all wrestlers, land on their knees often during matches.
The grueling nature of the WWE schedule makes injuries an inevitability, but Hawkins is especially unfortunate to suffer from a pair of them that could keep him out for a long while.
Regarding recovery from a torn meniscus alone, Medicinenet.com says, "Elite athletes return to practice within one to two weeks after surgery."
Unfortunately, Hawkins' injury is doubled up with one requiring a much longer recovery time.
Sportsmd.com estimates that recovery time from a PCL surgery would include "six months to a year of rehab."
So we probably won't be seeing Hawkins in the Royal Rumble in January.
The severity of the tears, how well the surgery went and how diligent Hawkins is in rehab will determine just how long he'll be out.
Fortunately for him, he can take his time.
This is not a situation where WWE will rush Hawkins back. There are no major storylines for him to return to and he is not a top-draw.
It will be interesting to see if WWE changes their approach with him once he returns and to see where he ends up on the WWE hierarchy.