SYDNEY — The agent for five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe says the 31-year-old will never swim again after contracting two potentially deadly infections while undergoing shoulder surgery.
James Erskine said Tuesday that Thorpe was "quite sick" in the intensive care ward of a Sydney hospital but dismissed reports that the swimmer might lose the use of his left arm.
Erskine said Thorpe's condition was "serious but not life-threatening. He's contracted two forms of bugs in hospital. He's undergone two or three operations over the last two months so ... I mean bad luck. He's quite sick but that's the situation."
Erskine said Thorpe contracted the infections during a series of surgeries on his shoulder at a clinic near his home in the Swiss town of Ronco sopra Ascona.
"From a competitive point of view he will not be swimming competitively again I don't think," Erskine said. "The shoulder operation was a major operation."
In February, Thorpe's father revealed the swimmer is battling depression. The revelation followed an incident in which police were called when Thorpe was found in a disoriented state in a street near his parents' Sydney home.
He was taken to a hospital for medical assessment and was found to have taken a combination of antidepressants and medication for his shoulder injury.
Thorpe has since entered a rehabilitation program.