Backstage Update On Former AEW Champion MJF's Current Injuries

MJF is looking at an extended spell on the sidelines after losing his AEW World Championship last month. His 407-day reign ended at the hands of Samoa Joe at Worlds End on December 30, with the champion entering his title defense carrying a few injuries — one of which being a torn labrum. MJF has since been removed from AEW's official roster page, believed to be an extension of the story that he was set for contract expiration to begin 2024, and Adam Cole declared MJF was gone and wouldn't be coming back during last week's "AEW Dynamite". 

Dave Meltzer provided an update on the matter in the "Wrestling Observer Newsletter", noting that MJF worked Worlds End in great pain with the torn labrum as well as a hip injury sustained at Full Gear in November. The shoulder injury is the worse of the pair, and Meltzer said that MJF is hoping to heal it through rehab rather than surgery. Surgery would sideline him for months, potentially closer to a year, which he wants to avoid. He and his doctors will determine what direction he goes. 

In any case, AEW will possibly go without MJF for a good chunk of this year. With Revolution in March and Double or Nothing in May, that could leave AEW without its former standard bearer in its first two major events of 2024. It would be the first time MJF misses either of those events, but the larger question is whether he will be available in time for All In at Wembley Stadium in August, by far AEW's biggest show.