Keith Lee Explains Medical Issue That Sidelined Him For Much Of 2021

Lee missed close to six months of action

Former NXT champion Keith Lee has broken his silence on the reason behind his extended absence from WWE, which spanned close to six months, from early February, up until a few weeks ago.

In a video released to his YouTube channel, Lee explained the issues he battled after contracting COVID earlier this year. He noted that Mia Yim, his fiance, took care of him during this time.

"Were it not for her, I don't know how things would have gone to be quite honest," Lee stated. "I contracted COVID. She did not actually for like three weeks and the only reason that she did contract it was because she refused to not be there and take care of me and unfortunately, that ended up costing her an opportunity in the Royal Rumble. But that was a chance she was willing to take so you know, at the end of the day, I'm grateful to her."

But the issues didn't end there. The day after wrestling Riddle on the February 8 Raw, Lee received a phone call saying that there were concerning signs in his blood work, which were revealed to be a potentially-fatal heart inflammation.

"I was basically forbidden from training or any activity outside of a light walk," Lee revealed. "So there was a fear that doing more than that, that there was a chance that I could just up and pass away.

"So for three or four months, this was kind of the case and I have several MRIs on my heart. By the way, I don't fit in those machines, it was terrible and my shoulders really struggled with that. But we had to do what we had to do, right? So this became a fight against death, so to speak.

"It took up until the company sent me to Pittsburgh to get looked at and it was to the point where I was about to have to undergo genetic testing and all sorts of things. Because it was thought that there was a potential [chance] I could have a heart disease of sorts. Very fortunately, even though it took a long time, and we waited that amount of time for that to allow the inflammation in my heart to eventually go down to normal. So even though the first MRI was bad, and then the second one was worse, over time things got better here and there and eventually, after that visit, I was cleared to try and get back into some sort of shape. That's where the real struggle is."

(Credit to Fightful for transcription)

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.