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Dean Ambrose ‘nearly died’ from Staph infection while recovering from injury

When “The Lunatic Fringe” left WWE television with an injury in December of 2017, Dean Ambrose was expected to miss 3-6 months. However, Ambrose didn’t return for almost 8 months from his triceps surgery, and now we know why.

Ambrose was recently interviewed by Greg Luca of McAllen, Texas’ The Monitor, and told the challenging story of why his return was delayed:

“It was a long, long period of time. Much longer than would have been anticipated.

It was just one nightmare after another. It was a pretty challenging period of time to go through. I ended up having two different surgeries. I had this MRSA, Staph infection. I nearly died. I was in the hospital for a week plugged up to this antibiotic drip thing, and I was on all these antibiotics for months that make you puke and crap your pants.

So it was a pretty rough time. My arm wasn’t healing correctly, and my triceps. It’s kind of an indeterminate period where I initially hurt it. I thought it was, we call it Dusty elbows. It’s a pretty typical wrestler thing. You just get this bursa sac of fluid on your elbow from banging it on the mat or whatever. I’ve had that dozens of times on both elbows. It usually just goes away. It was kind of disguised. By the time I finally went and got the first surgery, my triceps was already starting to atrophy and look weird. I wasn’t able to flex my triceps for a really long time. And then the first surgery didn’t really, something went wrong in the process. Probably due to that infection. It’s kind of hard to say when that really even got in my body. This is a long answer to your question. But for a minute there, it was getting scary. By the time I got that second surgery, it was March, I think. My arm was so shrunken and skeletal that it was weird. I hadn’t been able to move it or flex it in so long that I was starting to get scared I wasn’t ever going to get it back.

It looked good [after the first surgery]. Before I went in for the first one, they were like, ‘OK, yeah, this is going to be a three- or four-month thing. You’ll jump right back.’ Once I woke up, they were like, ‘Oh man, this is going to be six months minimum. Because we went in there, and that thing was messed up. You beat it to death. It’s going to be a lot harder than you initially thought. But still, not so bad.’ They said they found traces of an infection during the first surgery, but they cleaned it out. I don’t know if it was in there previously, or if it came after. It could’ve been with me for years. I don’t know. But it was about six weeks or so after that I was like, this is not healing correctly. I didn’t have anything to compare it to, because I had never been hurt before. So I ended up going back for just a checkup. I thought I was just going to turn right back around and get on a plane and go home, and they were like, ‘No, you have to go in again for surgery like right now.’ I was like, ‘Oh, no.’ I had just kind of got through all of the stitches and all of that stuff. It was a giant mess. I just kept having to start back from square one. I ended up just moving to Birmingham just to play it safe and be with the doctor and best rehab guys. As soon as I got out of the second one, I was flying home, grabbing my dog, turned right back around, got in the truck and drove to Birmingham. I just stayed there for two and a half or three months until they felt like I was pretty good. Once the MRSA really got out of my system, I was working out twice a day. Rehabbing twice a day on top of that in Birmingham. Doing everything possible to try to get my arm working again, and once I started to come back, I started to make a lot of progress over the summer. So I’m feeling good now.”

After seeing everything Dean-O went through just to make it back, it’s almost impossible not to root for him. Before his injury last year, Ambrose had garnered the reputation as the “Iron Man of the WWE”, wrestling over 1,000 matches from 2012 through 2017 without suffering any real major injury.

Now that he’s back, Dean Ambrose looks better than ever. With a renewed love for the business, a new look,  and, honestly, a second chance on life, this lunatic seems to be in store for one of the greatest runs of his career.

Check out the entire interview with Luca and Ambrose here.


  • Dakota

    Thanks for the report Jackson-O