Samoa Joe Offers More Details On WWE In-Ring Return
"After seeing medically, you know, what I’ve seen, I agree with them."
Samoa Joe has spoken further about his absence from in-ring performing for WWE, saying he would rather miss a large chunk of time now than do permanent damage to himself.
The 41-year-old has not competed since sustaining a concussion in February of last year, instead featuring as a part of the RAW commentary team, and recently said that there was no timetable on a potential return to action.
The former United States champion has offered further details about his ongoing situation, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed his planned route back to becoming an in-ring superstar, before revealing that he was initially opposed to WWE removing him from action before seeing the situation he is medically dealing with.
Joe said, in an interview with Uproxx: "I think right now, we’ve learned a lot medically about concussions and recovery and we’re taking the safest and the best approach and I appreciate it. WWE medical, they’ve been great and understanding and wonderful. So I think at this time we’re just taking the best course of action and obviously some things have been delayed just because of the pandemic and medical availability and liability of being in places and traveling to get evaluations and stuff.
"So, I mean, there’s been some technical holdups as well as just a very careful approach to my return and recovery and I appreciate it. And I’m all aboard, you know? I would rather take this time and miss a large considerable amount of time than potentially this getting more serious. It took (WWE) a lot to talk me down. But after seeing medically, you know, what I’ve seen, I agree with them. And we’re just taking our time with it and trying to do right."
Joe admitted he was finding his prolonged absence from competing difficult, but said his responsibilities to other people mean he has to do the right thing by them as well as himself.
He added: "The understanding (of concussions) has evolved so much in 10 years. Even now, the protocol is constantly being tweaked with the newest information. Obviously this is an issue across many sports and many sports across the board are working together to find the best solution. There’s technology and science involved and because of that, hopefully we’re dealing with this situation better than we have in the past. But I am my own worst enemy in this aspect, where I just want to shake it off.
"I have people that depend on me and you see these other things that could happen. I had to realize that I have to start listening because I have to honour these responsibilities to people, both professionally, personally, everybody. It’s very, very difficult when you come from a state of always wanting to charge forward, wanting to go harder and fight through. And this series we’re doing now preaches those very qualities of understanding when it’s time to take care of yourself."