UFC supremo Dana White reckons Conor McGregor could potentially return to the octagon later this year.
The MMA superstar suffered a horrific broken leg in his UFC 264 rubber match with Dustin Poirier in July, shattering his left tibia and fibula in the final seconds of the first round.
McGregor, 33, is making a faster than expected recovery and is already back on his feet – although he is using a cane.
And White admits the UFC's poster boy could be back in the cage this year provided his leg is strong enough to absorb kicks.
The veteran promoter told The Australian Daily Telegraph: "Conor seems to be healing up pretty well.
"The question is: When can he start kicking again?
"If he could take kicks, then he'd be looking at a fight before the end of the year again, so it all depends on how fast that leg heals."
McGregor returned to his feet late last month courtesy of an anti-gravity treadmill, which helped him put 50 per cent of his body weight on his injured leg.
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And The Notorious already feels capable of throwing one of his wide array of kicks.
He told Adam's Apple: "I feel like I could kick right now.
“I honestly feel like I could kick right now, but I’ve just got to listen to the doctors, listen to the people that are guiding me.
"That’s what I’ve done so far, I’ve committed myself to the work and I’m back on the feet.
"It’s so good to be back on the feet.”
He added: "I was upset for a little while. It has not been easy, you know what I mean?
If he could take kicks, then he'd be looking at a fight before the end of the year again, so it all depends on how fast that leg heals
"There's been a few ups and downs on this [journey].
"It's probably one of the wildest things that's ever happened to me in my life. Know what I mean?
"It's not been full smooth sailing, but I've got through. I've had my family and my close team by my side.
"And we're getting there. Still a long away [to go]."
Although he's pleased with the speed of his recovery, McGregor doesn't plan on going against doctors' orders.
He said: "I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. But like I said, I feel like I could kick now.
"I'm not advised to kick yet, but I'm gonna get back, man.
"You think a broken bone is gonna stop me? Think again."
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