Randy Orton has been away from WWE so long that it feels like virtually half the main roster has joined him on the treatment table in the time since he was originally injured last October.
At the time of The Viper's freak injury - he reportedly dislocated his shoulder taking out the trash - the consensus opinion was that Orton would be out for six months maximum.
Now half a year on from surgery, and with the veteran still nowhere to be seen, it is clear that timeline has been and gone. Today, though, there is more disappointing news with Dave Meltzer reporting Orton is still a good six weeks away from even getting back into the training ring.
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Meltzer, via NoDQ, explained that Orton's rehabilitation is actually going "much slower" than was expected, before adding that, per the WWE's new timetable, the 36-year-old won't even begin work at Orlando's performance center until the middle of June.
That means there is virtually no chance of fans being treated to a surprise appearance from Orton at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on June 19, as some had hoped.
Considering, too, the length of time the veteran has been out, not to mention the setbacks he has endured during his spell away from the ring, we can likely say goodbye to the prospect of Orton appearing on at least one more PPV - July 24's Battleground.
After this week's update, the most likely comeback date for Orton would appear to be in the build-up for this year's SummerSlam event.
If things go according to plan from here on out, and The Viper is able to get around seven-to-eight weeks of work in at the performance center to work out any rust, he will hopefully be in a prime position to return with a bang at one of the WWE's biggest events of the year.
Long time coming
Now just a few weeks away from John Cena's Memorial Day return and with Seth Rollins also rumoured to be close to a comeback from his own injury woes, Orton would complete a triumvirate of returning superstars in the coming months.
Hopefully, after so long out, Orton is still able to perform at the elite level he has largely maintained during his time around the top of WWE's main roster. Fans will be keeping their fingers crossed that is the case over the next couple of months.
While some fans may be disappointed that it is taking so long to get the four-time Heavyweight Champion back in the ring, it will only mean a bigger pop when his comeback bout eventually happens.
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