Last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw saw what many fans interpreted as a double-turn as Bobby Lashley shed his heroic persona by brutally attacking Kevin Owens after their match, with manager Lio Rush shouting instructions from the sidelines. It was soon confirmed that this was WWE’s way of writing Owens off so that he could undergo knee surgery, and while reports originally gave a rough four-to-eight-month projection for his recovery time, the latest update from veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer could offer a more concrete estimate for “KO’s” return date from surgery.
Citing remarks made by Meltzer on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Wrestling Inc. wrote that Owens will likely be cleared to compete once again by late February or early March. This puts his recovery time at about four to five months, as the former Universal Champion’s left knee was found to be more damaged than originally thought. While Meltzer stressed that the injuries were serious enough for Owens to undergo surgery on both knees on Tuesday, he added that there was no need for full reconstructive surgery on either knee.
On Wednesday, Owens took to Twitter to share a post-surgery photo of his knees, quipping that there was a “two-for-one sale going at the surgery store.”
Update On WWE Raw Superstar Kevin Owens' Double Knee Surgery – https://t.co/uVNvwCXADA
— Cultaholic (@Cultaholic) October 18, 2018
As noted by Sportskeeda, the expected timeline for Kevin Owens’ return to the ring could mean he might not be ready in time for a reunion with erstwhile ally Sami Zayn once the latter comes back from his own injuries. Zayn, who had turned heel at last year’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view to align himself with longtime rival Owens, underwent separate surgeries on both shoulders in the summer and was projected at the time of the second surgery in August to be back in time for the 2019 Royal Rumble in January, according to WrestlingNews.co.
At the moment, it’s not clear what WWE has planned for Kevin Owens once he’s ready to return. According to Cageside Seats, Owens got a sympathetic reaction from fans during Bobby Lashley’s post-match attack on last week’s Raw in Chicago, but it was still hard to tell whether WWE really intended to turn him into a babyface, as Chicago fans have been known to boo faces and cheer heels if the occasion calls for it. Furthermore, the publication added that Owens’ previous teases of a face turn have mainly been setups for him to “attack other popular characters” and further cement his status as one of Raw’s top villains.