Swimming great Ian Thorpe contracted a serious infection following recent shoulder surgery and likely won’t swim competitively again, Thorpe’s agent told the Australian Associated Press.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported Thorpe’s agent said the swimmer was not in intensive care but being treated with large doses of antibiotics. Seven Network reported Thorpe was in intensive care and that those close to him feared he could lose the use of his left arm.
“It’s serious, but it’s not life-threatening,” Thorpe’s agent, James Erskine, told the AAP. “From a competitive point of view — he will not be swimming competitively again, I don’t think.”
Thorpe, 31 and a nine-time Olympic medalist over 2000 and 2004, has in recent years admitted to struggles with depression and alcohol abuse and was in rehab earlier this year.
He came out of a four-year retirement in 2011 and failed in a bid to make the 2012 Australian Olympic Team. He has not officially retired since missing out on London.