Anderson Silva may possibly have had the worst year of his entire MMA career in 2013. ‘The Spider’ entered last year as the undisputed Middleweight champion of the UFC, having dominated the division since his 2006 debut and didn’t look like stopping any time soon.

In steps Chris Weidman at UFC 162 and blows our minds, knocking Silva silly in the second round of their showdown. A new champion was born and the rematch was quite an ugly affair; Silva snapped his leg in gruesome fashion at UFC 168, and remains in the healing process as we speak.

UFC president Dana White is keen to see ‘The Spider’ back in action this year, and Silva has expressed his plans to fight in 2014. This is great news for most fans of Silva, but Joe Rogan doesn’t share that view. He spoke with Opie and Anthony (??) to discuss the former Middleweight champ’s planned return:

“[White] wants [Silva] to fight by the end of the year. Anderson wants to fight, too, but there's a real danger of that thing breaking again. You've got to make sure that it's completely healed up before you check it again. [Opponents] are going to do the exact same thing. Anybody who fights Anderson is going to practice checking kicks like a mother f*****.”

Its true that in such a brutal sport Silva is likely to have his leg targeted, but Bas Rutten recently said that he believes broken bones heal stronger, and Rogan has been slightly wrong in his opinions before. There may be some truth within what Rogan says though.

"Guys have come back in other sports, but those other sports are very different. They don't involve purposefully trying to break your bones."

Would it not be worth allowing an extra 3-6 months to ensure that the leg is ready for full contact combat again? If he returns too early, Silva could break the leg again and be forced to retire. Wait out too long and father time might catch up with Silva once and for all, as far as his fighting career is concerned.

Just seven months after stepping in the cage against Weidman for the first time, Silva has no title and an horrific, career threatening injury to contend with. How times change, still, surely it can’t get any worse for ‘The Spider’?