Keith Lee explained in a video uploaded Thursday why he was unable to wrestle for five months from February to July.
Lee said he contracted COVID-19 this January and was off television for about three weeks because of it. He came back for one match against Riddle in February, but he got a call the next day informing him that there was something off in his blood.
"Some people may have experienced this thing where there's like an inflammation in the heart or lungs, for me it was the heart," Lee said. "That led to very scary times. I was basically forbidden from training or any activity outside of a light walk. There was a fear that doing more than that—that there was a chance that I could just up and pass away."
Lee said this was the case for three or four months, and he had several MRIs on his heart.
"So this became a fight against death, so to speak," Lee said. "And it took up until the company sent me to Pittsburgh to get looked at. 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 I could have a heart disease of sorts.
"Very fortunately, even though it took a long time—we waited that amount of time—for that allowed the inflammation in my heart to eventually go down to normal. So even though the first MRI was bad and 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 [laughs], that's where the real struggle is. But, yeah, it took some time. And to be honest, it wasn't even certain that I was going to show up in Dallas, in terms of on TV."
Lee made his return to the ring on the July 19 episode of Raw at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. He lost a non-title match against WWE champion Bobby Lashley on that show. He's since had two matches with Karrion Kross on Raw.
Lee said he greatly appreciates the fans who cared about his situation. He said he doesn't really know what's next for him, but he's healthy and fought the battle that mattered most. Lee said that's all he and his family can ask for. Lee said now he's going to move forward and fight to make the most of what he can do in WWE.
Lee also clarified during the video that his fiancee Mia Yim only contracted COVID-19 in January because she refused to not take care of him. Yim had to miss this year's women's Royal Rumble match due to testing positive for COVID-19.
Lee's full video is available to watch below:
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