Former UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva has been cleared to spar by his doctors, according to a report by MMAFighting. Silva broke his leg at UFC 168 on December 28, 2013, the victim of a check kick that saw his hopes of reclaiming his title from Chris Weidman go down in flames.

As per MMAFighting:

“He was already cleared by his doctors in the United States, but he likes to hear my opinion because I was with him in every step of his recovery, including the surgery,” Dr. Marcio Tannure told on Friday.

“There’s no exact recovery timetable for this type of injury. It could take three months or one year, but he had a good recovery and we’re happy. It’s going as we expected.”

Of course, being physically able to fight is different than being mentally able to fight – which is a hurdle Silva has yet to leap.

“His recovery was great, but now we have to work on his mind and get rid of the mental block. It could take a while, maybe not. It would be really hard to say right now he can or can’t fight this year. It’s not the moment, and he’s the one that is going to feel it.”

According to Dr. Tannure, the former UFC middleweight champion, who went undefeated from 2006 to 2013 before a pair of losses to Chris Weidman, is still “unsafe” for throwing power leg kicks.

“He has to start slowly. It still is really hard for him to work on that,” he said. “He feels unsafe now, maybe sees some images on his head, so we can’t demand too much from him right now. That’s the toughest barrier to overcome. He will only lose this fear with training, and then he will know if he’s ready to fight or not. That’s absolutely normal.”

Regardless of how long it takes for Silva to return, it’s safe to say his reappearance in the Octagon will be eagerly anticipated. Let’s just hope he recovers at his own pace and comes back not a moment too soon. No one wants to see the Brazilian legend carted out of the cage on a stretcher.