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Harrison beat Michael Sprott to claim the European heavyweight title
Audley Harrison could be out for up to 16 weeks following an operation on a ruptured pectoralis muscle.
The 38-year-old underwent surgery on Saturday on the injury suffered in his European heavyweight title win over Michael Sprott on 9 April.
"I will start rehab back in California and can't wait to defend my European title," said Harrison.
The London-born fighter's next opponent is likely to be Ukrainian mandatory challenger Alexander Dimitrenko.
"Alexander Dimitrenko is a test I'm happy to face in my next fight. He is ranked in the top 10 in both the WBA and WBO ratings," added Harrison.
"With that fight and victory, I'll be ranked in the top 10 in three of the four main sanctioning bodies. I will rightfully earn a shot at one of the title-holders.
"Dimitrenko has resorted to calling me out on YouTube and Fightnews.com as if I'm running from him. His chin and my left hand will be meeting as soon as I'm healed."
Firstly though, Harrison must recover from Saturday's surgery to complete a revision of a pectoralis major musculotendinous tear and the application of platelet rich plasma therapy.
Orthopaedic Surgeon, Professor Lennard Funk, who undertook the procedure revealed: "Audley will be in a sling for three weeks. I would expect him to be back to full training eight weeks after rehabilitation if all goes well and full recovery in about 12 to 16 weeks."