Tissue repair after injury is a complex, metabolically demanding process. Depending on the tissue’s regenerative capacity and the quality of the inflammatory response, the outcome is generally imperfect, with some degree of fibrosis, which is defined by aberrant accumulation of collagenous connective tissue. Inflammatory cells multitask at the wound site by facilitating wound debridement and producing chemokines, metabolites, and growth factors. If this well-orchestrated response becomes dysregulated, the wound can become chronic or progressively fibrotic, with both outcomes impairing tissue function, which can ultimately lead to organ failure and death. Here we review the current understanding of the role of inflammation and cell metabolism in tissue-regenerative responses, highlight emerging concepts that may expand therapeutic perspectives, and briefly discuss where important knowledge gaps remain.