Tony Bellew could require hand surgery after his victory over David Haye meaning he would face a recovery spell of up to five months, says promoter Eddie Hearn.
The Merseysider injured his right hand during his 11th-round stoppage victory over Haye at The O2 earlier this month and is believed to have suffered a torn capsule which might need an operation.
Bellew is expected to stay at heavyweight following his stunning victory over Haye, and Hearn told Sky Sports News HQ that he will fight again this year after he makes a full recovery.
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) March 14, 2017
“The concern is they might have to open up his hand and have an operation,” said Hearn. “He’s got to test it out in about three or four weeks. If it’s still sore, then they are probably going to have to open the hand up and have some surgery on that.
“If that is the case, he will be out for five months, which doesn’t affect things too much. If he fights again – I keep telling him he’s going to fight again but you never know – probably October, November, December anyway.”
Bellew revealed his visit to a hand specialist on social media and has played down the severity of the injury.
“I have spent time with my surgeon so he could assess what is going on and what we do going forward,” Bellew exclusively told Sky Sports. “I will just leave it with him, he knows best.
“I have damaged my hand. In there is some kind of tear; you have some sort of capsule over each knuckle and I’ve split it.
“I’ve also got a fracture in the hand, but when people just say ‘you’ve broken your hand’, essentially I have but it is a fracture.
“It’s going to take a little bit of time, but we’ll take it from there.”
World title fights against WBC champion Deontay Wilder and WBO king Joseph Parker have already been discussed, while Bellew could grant a rematch to Haye, who is also recovering from injury.
The 36-year-old ruptured his Achilles tendon in the sixth round before his trainer Shane McGuigan eventually threw in the towel, but has expressed his desire to battle Bellew in a second fight.