Last week on Raw, Michael Cole said on commentary that Sheamus was absent from the show because he was taking his annual sabbatical back home in Ireland. While this tweet would indicate that was indeed the case, he was also in Ireland rehabbing a career-threatening injury.

“While they said Sheamus was out of action last week because he was on a trip back to Ireland, he’s actually rehabbing spinal stenosis, which is not a good thing at all,” Dave Meltzer wrote in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. “Spinal stenosis ended the careers of Edge and Steve Austin.”

In a video posted last week on his YouTube channel (Celtic Warrior Workouts), Sheamus said he has stenosis in his neck.

Sheamus stated, “So, for the last 6 months I’ve been suffering from serious stenosis; neck issues.

“Today I’m gonna talk about rehab and recovery.”

He went on to reveal a neck hammock that he has been using to help him with his rehab.

The 39-year-old also demonstrated the correct technique to use the piece of equipment.

This could be bad news for the current Raw Tag Team Champion. Sheamus has suffered a number of injuries during his professional wrestling career, including a pre-WWE neck injury that kept him out of action for two years and a torn labrum in 2014 that kept him off television for six months.

Spinal stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes the spine to compress. As Meltzer mentioned, spinal stenosis is what caused both Steve Austin and Edge to retire, as both suffered multiple severe neck injuries over the course of their careers.

Sting also suffered spinal stenosis during a WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions in September 2015. While he was able to complete the bout, he hasn’t wrestled since. Though Sting may never wrestle again, he does not consider himself retired.

Last Saturday, Sting attended the Wales Comic Con at Glyndŵr University in Wrexham, North Wales and took part in a Q&A session with fans. He was asked if he held off getting neck surgery in order to have one more match and here is what he said:

“I have never said ‘one more match’ ever. I’d like to have one more match, I’d like to have that Undertaker match. The only reason I held off on the surgery is because I had guys like Stone Cold saying don’t do it. I don’t have any side effects? I can still work out and it doesn’t bother me, I don’t get a sore neck from sleeping or anything so why would I get surgery? If you don’t need it, don’t do it.”

While Sheamus’ injury appears very serious, it’s not enough to keep him out of action for the time being. He returned to action on Monday as he and Cesaro successfully defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.

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