Ambrose went under the knife to fix a busted triceps in November. Early thoughts had him returning within six months, but WWE announced he'd miss closer to nine. This seemed like an inflated prognosis—a WWE custom—but according to the Cagesideseats, it's genuine.
Per their report, Ambrose isn't expected to return until after SummerSlam, putting his absence around 10 months. Considering he as rumored for both WrestleMania and the Greatest Royal Rumble, this comes as surprising news.
Over the weekend, news of Ambrose being at WWE's Performance Center looked to foreshadow his return. There was no confirmation on whether or not he entered a ring, but this was a clear graduation from the report of him routinely visiting doctors.
By now, guessing Ambrose's return is a futile exercise. Injuries in WWE are inherently tricky as medical reports are often connected to contrived storylines. But Ambrose's return has been particularly muddy, especially after Seth Rollins proclaimed in an interview with South Africa's 95.5 that Ambrose would be back well before SummerSlam.
"He had some pretty extensive triceps surgery earlier this year so he's definitely still on the mend and rehabbing. But he'll be back and better than ever, you wait. Summertime, maybe late Spring. Somewhere in there, I think, whenever that while guy gets back to normal," he said.
RAW General Manager Kurt Angle echoed a similar sentiment during a Facebook Q&A session.
"LISTEN EVERYONE. Dean is healing nicely. He will be back soon!!!!! I get this question every week. I know how popular he is but asking me when he will return will not make his return any sooner than he can. He will be back soon. Promise," wrote Angle.
Ambrose's future has been a treasure trove fo rumor mongers. He was reportedly destined for a massive heel turn before his injury, one that was supposed to lead to WrestleMania match between him and Rollins. That obviously never happened, but WWE may be holding on to that idea.
Ambrose was spotted at a Stanley Cup Finals game earlier this month rocking a new look. While this may be the height of speculation, fans believed his haircut, earring, and bear suggested that Ambrose will return as a bad guy.
Even more, Ambrose found his name implicated in Universal Championship rumors. We may be a little ahead of ourselves on that, but it's nice to hear that WWE may have big plans for him upon his return—whenever that is.