CM Punk's UFC debut has been slightly delayed because of a shoulder injury, according to the former WWE star's head coach, Duke Roufus.
Punk, birth name Phil Brooks, has been sidelined for several weeks after "tweaking" the shoulder during a scramble in training. He is scheduled to see a physician on Oct. 14, at which point he could be cleared to return to the gym.
The 36-year-old signed a deal to compete with the UFC in December, despite no experience in mixed martial arts. He's preparing for his debut at Roufusport Academy in Milwaukee, the longtime home of former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
"He got caught in a scramble, so right now he's taking a little time off," Roufus told ESPN.com. "He was doing great before that. His progress has been good. He's got a great attitude and he's a hard worker. He got a place in Milwaukee where he lives all week when he's here training, so he's in it to win it.
"Our biggest thing is we want him to 101 percent before [we resuming training]. We don't have a hard date for his fight to force the issue, so making sure he's completely healthy is possible."
Roufus has repeatedly stated he wants Punk completely prepared before stepping into the Octagon for the first time. When asked how close Punk is to that point, Roufus responded, "50 percent."
"He's about at 50 percent," Roufus said. "But that being said, remember that my 100 percent is a very well-prepared person.
"The UFC will probably book him a fight three to four months in advance -- a guy of his magnitude. We're probably looking at a fight in the next six to 10 months. The injury throws us back one month. We had a ballpark. We were looking at mid- to late-spring. Now, we'll just have to see how he comes back from the injury."
In March, Punk attended UFC 185 in Dallas. Two of his Roufusport teammates, Anthony Pettis and Sergio Pettis, suffered losses that night, and Punk was in the locker room to witness the effects. Anthony lost his title to Rafael dos Anjos and suffered a broken orbital. His younger brother, Sergio, suffered a knockout loss on the preliminary card.
Although it was a tough night for the team, Roufus says it was probably good for Punk to see that up close. He says the experience had no effect on Punk's feelings toward a debut.
"He saw the reality of what happens even when you are prepared," Roufus said. "It did not deter his enthusiasm whatsoever. I like people seeing the reality of the sport. My older brother was my idol growing up. When I saw him lose fights it was traumatic, but it was also inspirational -- 'If that can happen to my brother, who is the greatest, I have to get working.' Training is everything, and Punk is dedicated to it."
Roufus doesn't manage Punk's career but said it would make perfect sense to book his debut on an already-announced UFC 200 card on July 9. The event will take place at a 20,000-seat arena, which is currently under construction on the Las Vegas Strip.
"I gave up managing fighters, but I understand the promotion business," Roufus said. "I think it's smart business. I was at UFC 100 [in 2009] when Brock Lesnar was showcased, and I saw the impact of that."