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Pacquiao says swimming in sea healed his shoulder without rehab

pac746By Chris Williams: It’s not usual for fighters to be able to come back from an injury like the one that Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) suffered last May without having to undergo many months of hard rehab training to try and get the full use of their surgically repaired shoulder back to them. This is why it seems to strange that Pacquiao is saying that his surgically repaired right rotator cuff has been healed without him even undergoing rehab.

Pacquiao says he just swam in the ocean and the salt water healed his torn rotator cuff. It sounds like a miracle.

“No problem, I’m fine. It’s God’s work. I never saw a doctor. I never did rehab. All I did was to swim in the sea as often as I could. The salt water healed my wound,” Pacquiao said to

Of course, this will cause a lot of boxing fans to doubt whether Pacquiao had a shoulder injury to begin with. Many of the fans will see Pacquiao’s bragging about his shoulder being healed as a sign that he was just using the shoulder as an excuse to explain why he was schooled by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their fight on May 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao looked really bad in that fight, and if there hadn’t been an injury excuse afterwards, Pacquiao, his trainer Freddie Roach, and promoter Bob Arum would all have had to admit that they lost to the superior fighter in Mayweather. But instead they were all on the same page about Pacquiao having a serious shoulder injury, and that he won the fight anyway. In other words, they have an injury excuse but they’re still saying they won the fight. It’s very troubling and confusing. If they won the fight then why the need for an injury excuse?

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of an athlete coming back from a torn rotator cuff without extensive rehab on the shoulder, and even then many of them don’t come back to anywhere near what they were before the injury.

“Manny has strong faith,” Pacquiao’s business manager Eric Pineda said. “God did it. And all that swimming in the sea helped. Now, there’s talk of his comeback fight.”

With all the baseball pitchers suffering torn rotator cuff injuries in Major League Baseball, I think they’ll be intrigued at the idea that they can heal their torn rotator cuff with surgery followed by swimming in the ocean. I don’t know that I would swim in the ocean after coming off of shoulder surgery. Can you imagine getting caught in a rip tide and pulled out to sea and only having one good shoulder to try and swim your way out of the rip tide? I don’t think it would be the smartest thing for an athlete to do coming off of an injury of that kind. But if the injury was a nothing thing, then yes, swimming in the ocean wouldn’t be a risky thing at all. You could easily swim your way of a rip with two good shoulders if you had your head screwed on straight and knew what you were doing.

A lot of boxing fans are realty suspicious about Pacquiao’s shoulder injury, as they think it was bogus. They believe he just came up with the excuse so that he wouldn’t have to be seen as the lower of the Fight of the Century. I personally believe that Pacquiao had a shoulder injury, because how do explain him having shoulder surgery? But I don’t think it was nearly as serious as you see with baseball pitchers. In other words, I don’t think it was a full tear of his right rotator cuff. That would explain the fact that Pacquiao was able to raise his hand afterwards when the judges’ scores were announced. But it’s all speculation.

You can’t know the extent of Pacquiao’s shoulder injury unless you ere the surgeon that did the operation. Boxing fans haven’t seen the MRI results or the X-rays of Pacquiao’s shoulder, so they have to go by what is being said by Pacquiao, his surgeon and his handlers about the injury. You can’t know what it is because you weren’t in the operating room with them while Pacquiao was undergoing the knife. But it is very strange that Pacquiao is saying that he swam in the sea to heal his injured shoulder.

Pacquiao is bragging about now having done rehab on his shoulder. How do you not do rehab for a torn rotator cuff? I don’t understand that for a second. Even if it was a minor tear of your rotator cuff, how do you not do rehab on it? Just going out and swimming in the sea in the Philippines has got to be one of the strangest ways of trying to heal a torn rotator cuff.

We’re going to see how well Pacquiao’s shoulder performs once he gets back in the Wildcard Gym with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles, California. Swimming in the ocean in the Philippines is one thing, but actually using your shoulder to fight with is a completely different thing altogether. If Pacquiao’s shoulder isn’t 100 percent when he comes back, he’s going to be forced to try and beat guys like Amir Khan, Terence Crawford and Mayweather using just his left hand. Pacquiao won’t be able to do that. He was able to beat the smaller guys earlier in his career using just his left hand, but that was when he was in the lighter weight classes. He’s not going to be able to beat welterweights or in the case of Khan and Crawford, pumped up welterweights using just his left hand.

I wonder what Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum has to say about Pacquiao bragging about him swimming in the sea to heal his shoulder rather than him undergoing traditional rehab therapy. Is Arum on board with this kind of thing? I know if I was Arum, I’d be afraid to setup another fight for Pacquiao, because the last thing that Arum needs is for him to schedule a fight in early 2016 and then see Pacquiao’s surgically repaired shoulder fall apart immediately in training camp once he starts using it a lot due to him not having undergone traditional rehab for his shoulder. If all Pacquiao is doing is floating around in the sea using his right shoulder to paddle every once in a while to keep him above water, I don’t think it’s comparable to going through a full rehab with a trained physical therapist that knows how to bring a fighter back from an injury of that type.

For Mayweather’s sake, he needs to hold off and take a wait and see approach to a rematch with Pacquiao next year. If I was Mayweather, I wouldn’t bother fighting Pacquiao a second time unless I know for a fact that he could make it through a full fight without his shoulder falling off at the hinge. Mayweather doesn’t need to be involved in another fight where Pacquiao starts saying afterwards that he had an injured shoulder and was only at 60% of what he normally is due to the injury. There would be so many angry boxing fans if that happened a second time and I think it would mess up Mayweather’s legacy being involved in that mess.

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