UFC champ St-Pierre back training full-time
Georges St-Pierre, left, battles Jake Shields during a welterweight championship match at UFC 129 in Toronto on Saturday, April 30, 2011. (Nathan Denette / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:08PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 27, 2012 10:12PM EDT
The comeback continues for Georges St-Pierre.
The UFC welterweight champion is back training in Montreal in the wake of reconstructive knee surgery.
Things are going well but he is taking things one step at a time.
"I have to get back very slowly," St-Pierre told The Canadian Press on Wednesday night. "My leg, I cannot go back to full-out sparring (yet). I have to be very careful."
The 31-year-old mixed martial arts star suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a small tear to his internal meniscus during a wrestling training session last fall.
June 13 marked six months since St-Pierre (22-2) underwent knee surgery in Los Angeles following the injury. In recent months, his training had basically been restricted to rehabbing his knee and working on his cardio.
He says his rehab is done. Now it's a question of rebuilding his training slowly.
"The knee feels good," he said. "Still not 100 per cent, but it feels much better now.
"I feel that I had knee surgery, I'm not going to lie. I feel it, but it's much better than it was."
He has started kicking and punching again, but not high-level sparring yet.
"I go very light," he said. "Maybe in a few weeks, I will pick it up and I will be 100 per cent. But right now I have to go gradually because -- my movement pattern -- I haven't done this in a long time."
The concern is St-Pierre's body might compensate for the injured leg, which could lead to other issues.
"I need to rebuild my nervous system to react normally to the movement pattern."
For St-Pierre, who is a workout warrior, holding back isn't easy.
"It's very hard, but I have to do it. Because I don't want to get hurt again and I have to do it (train) smarter. I'm going to do a lot of things differently now and it's going to get much better."
There has been speculation he will make his comeback at UFC 154 on Nov. 17 in Montreal against interim champion Carlos Condit.
St-Pierre says he won't start any training camp until he is at 100 per cent. And his training program is still quite conservative at this stage.
"I'm very happy. I can start training. But like I said -- slowly. I still have my homework to do for my knee and stuff. But I' going to get back stronger than I was before."
GSP's last fight was a win over Jake Shields in April 2011 at UFC 129 in Toronto.