Former WWE and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus has been diagnosed with a torn labrum. He is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery, the recovery and rehabilitation from which will keep him out of action for four to six months.
Speculation had centered on the nasty-looking thigh bruise that he sustained in the Money in the Bank ladder match at the July pay-per-view (PPV) as the cause of his recent absence from WWE television. While that was a cause of concern, the leg was healing according to schedule when range of motion in his right arm became a factor during the company's recent trip to South Africa. It is unclear at this time if the injury also occurred during the battle for the briefcase, in another match or is just the product of continued wear-and-tear.
WWE.com's report quotes ringside physician Dr. Chris Amman as saying, "We performed a specialized MRI with a dye insert to highlight the structures within the shoulder joint. Dr. Samson and I both reviewed the film, and it appears that Sheamus has a cartilage (SLAP) tear."
Sheamus himself, as his workhorse schedule over the years since his debut and his reputation as a workout partner of old schooler HHH would lead one to believe, has taken the news hard. The same WWE report quotes the Celtic Warrior as saying, "I've never in my whole life had to have surgery. I've always worked through pain. For the first time in four years, I'm going to be out of action."
The injury is a bit of a double-edged sword for the Irishman and his employers. On the one hand, two of its biggest stars, John Cena and CM Punk, are perpetually working through injuries and their loss is felt every time they need to take time off. While they are in the process of trying to create a new draw in Daniel Bryan and perhaps rejuvenate another in briefcase holder Randy Orton, they'll still feel the loss of a name like Sheamus.
On the other hand, most fans feel the former King of the Ring's babyface character has grown stale, especially over the last year. His prominence on PPV cards has been falling and, creatively, his absence over the past few weeks didn't seem to have a huge impact on the product. The timing of his surgery and his projected return date might allow for a return at the Royal Rumble, where almost all surprise appearances are greeted with cheers. And if WWE is successful in creating some new good guy stars between now and then, he may be able to return as the villain his strike first, strike often character seems to more naturally align as.
We wish Sheamus a full recovery, and want to hear what you Cagesiders think about the news.