Randy Orton Opens Up About Returning To WWE After Longest Period Away From Wrestling

Randy Orton is back in WWE after more than a year recovering from spinal surgery. On "The Bump," Orton discussed how he coped with spending so much time away from WWE. "So far so good. I was out for a very long time. [The] longest time I've ever been out with injury," Orton said of the 18-month ordeal. The "Apex Predator" was wary of returning to the ring following spinal fusion surgery. "At one point while I was out, I thought maybe my career was over, but I had some amazing surgeons." Orton says he spent plenty of time at the WWE Performance Center to get his cardio and athleticism up to par, and while he's got his physical conditioning back, his mental conditioning is still taking some time.

"I still got a little ways to go I think to get that confidence back but I'm on my way," Orton said. The former WWE Champion and self-described "homebody" was grateful for the time he got to spend with his daughter, who turned seven during his 18-month recovery. "I've been able to have a relationship with her that I never really had with my other kids because when they were that age I was on the road. Back then, you'd miss birthdays, you'd miss holidays, you'd miss Christmas. Sometimes you'd work Christmas night so a lot of that's changed for the better."

Orton returned to WWE at Survivor Series: War Games, helping lead Cody Rhodes's team to victory against The Judgment Day and Drew McIntyre. He's set to compete in a Fatal-Four-Way for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble against champion Roman Reigns, LA Knight and AJ Styles.