UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz was sidelined at the end of 2011 with a torn ACL, and after two surgeries he still has a long way to go. In a recent interview, Cruz talked about the injury and time on the sidelines as one might expect to hear from a person describing an extended stay in jail. The pressure of UFC President Dana White saying he expects him to fight in June is probably not helping matters, but Cruz has always been optimistic about his eventual return to the Octagon.

Cruz told Sherdog:

“I’m so far from being cleared. I go see the doctor again and they just cleared me to start running. I’m just running, that’s it. I can’t grapple, I can’t kickbox, I can’t box or anything like that yet. I’ve just got to build my body up slowly.”

“This is one of the toughest things I’ve had to do because I am a big competitor.I miss competing. I haven’t been able to do it in a while and it hurts. But there’s nothing I can really do except sit on my hands and wait for this knee. I know it’s going to be fine. I know I’m going to heal OK. I know I’m going to be in there. I just have to do my time and wait, and that’s the hardest part. I don’t have a whole lot of patience.”

“The way people are picturing it, I have a feeling, is I’m going to be completely out of the gym, not doing anything and then all of a sudden I’m hopping into a camp. I don’t operate that way. I’ve never operated that way. I would almost put money on it that I’m in better shape than a lot of people that are active fighters right now. I’m very active. I’m still doing tons of bike work. I’m still doing tons of upper body strength work. I’m working on everything I can around this knee, including working that knee and the muscles around that leg in order to come back as strong as ever.”

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