Rhodes made his big return at WrestleMania 38 in April and had been booked as the top babyface on the Raw where he scored three straight wins at premium live events over Seth Rollins with the most recent match taking place at Hell in a Cell where he worked the gimmick match with a torn pec.
Rhodes underwent surgery to repair the muscle last Thursday and is currently recovering from it. The injury happened while he was training the Friday before the event. With it being completely torn, he went through with the bout as he wouldn’t have damaged it further. WWE filmed his surgery so the footage will be used in future promotional packages.
WWE has announced that Rhodes will be unable to wrestle for 9 months. Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that most within WWE expect Rhodes to be back before 9 months, which could make for a big return at the Royal Rumble. WWE could save him as a surprise or make it the selling point of that premium live event.
It was said there is talk already of making Rhodes’ return a huge deal, and building him up as they did with Triple H in 2001/2002 when “The Game” was coming back from a torn quad. Once Triple H returned on Raw, he was a babyface who cut promos about winning the Royal Rumble and then winning the Undisputed WWE Championship at WrestleMania, which he did when he beat Chris Jericho.