Super middleweight champion Andre Ward, who had surgery to repair a tear in his right shoulder on Jan. 4, began his rehabilitation work on Monday.
"I had a good first day of physical therapy on Monday. It was short and sweet, and I have a good range of motion one week out of surgery," Ward said. "During our first session, my physical therapist (Lisa Giannone of San Francisco's Activecare Physical Therapy) wanted to make sure that everything is healing properly and it is."
Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), 28, of Oakland, Calif., was training for a Jan. 26 title defense against former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik when he injured the shoulder in a November sparring session.
The original MRI on Ward's shoulder showed significant swelling and inflammation and his doctor recommended rest and rehabilitation. The fight was in the process of being rescheduled for March 2, but when Ward showed little improvement, he sought a second opinion and surgery was recommended.
The timetable for Ward's return has not been set, but he is likely going to be out for 4 to 6 months. If his shoulder heals well, he could be back in the ring in early fall.
Since the surgery, Ward has been recovering at home with his wife, Tiffiney, and their four children.
"After being at home for the past 10 days, I was happy to get out of the house and get to work on my recovery," said Ward, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and the 2011 fighter of the year after winning the Super Six World Boxing Classic. "I am going to be smart and listen to what my doctors and physical therapist tell me, but I look forward to a fast recovery. I am going to put the same energy and focus that I put into boxing into my rehab. Like I tell my mother, I'm a professional athlete and I heal faster than the average person."
After unifying 168-pound titles by beating Carl Froch in the Super Six final, Ward was out for several months because of a fractured hand. He had just one fight in 2012, a dominant 10th-round knockout of light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson, who came down in weight for the fight, on Sept. 8.