At the TNA Impact tapings last night, Kurt Angle announced that he had been diagnosed with a tumour in his neck that required surgery. It has since been confirmed by both f4wonline.com and PWInsider.com that this wasn't an angle and the injury is indeed legitimate.
Although both sites claimed that Angle had known that he had a benign tumour in his neck for about a year, he actually first tweeted about this health issues as far back as three years ago:
@Donq7: I have tumor in My Neck. Thank GOD It Is Non-Malignent. Is Yours'?— Kurt Angle (@RealKurtAngle) May 5, 2012
So why the need for surgery now? Apparently, it had started causing him problems of late with muscular atrophy, so removal of the growth is now both necessary and urgent.
TNA has come under some criticism for booking Angle in three matches over the current set of television tapings whilst knowing full well about his latest neck problems. I'm not a medical doctor, so I don't know if these criticisms are valid, but clearly they didn't err on the side of caution here, perhaps because they are desperate for ratings with their long-term future on Destination America remaining highly uncertain.
However, the injury announcement does explain why he wasn't booked for the live Slammiversary pay-per-view tonight. Although Angle has vowed to be back real soon, the fact that TNA has written him out of their storylines suggests he'll miss the next set of Impact television tapings in late July, where they'll tape TV through till the end of September. With a flood of wrestlers already leaving the company and the possibility that they won't have a television platform in their home market come October, one wonders what shape TNA will even be in when he's ready to return.