Professional wrestling icon Ric Flair has a message for his fans: “Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”
That’s what Flair posted Tuesday on Twitter, marking the first time he has reached out to fans since an undisclosed emergency surgery put him in the hospital on Aug. 11.
“Naitch WILL be back!” he added, using one of his many nicknames.
The message comes after weeks of confusion and speculation over the nature of Flair’s illness and whether he’s out of danger yet.
On Monday, Wrestling Sheet editor Ryan Satin shared a Facebook post from Flair’s finance, Wendy Barlow, that says he’s doing well.
“He will begin physical therapy shortly and will be stronger than ever and back out enjoying all the fans sooner than you would think. I can honestly say I have witnessed a miracle,” said the post.
Barlow said earlier this month in a private Facebook post that Flair’s condition involved having a portion of his bowel removed. The couple celebrated their 5th anniversary together while Flair was in the hospital, according to a Tweet from Barlow.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio has reported Flair was being treated for a combination of problems: He has had an external pacemaker put in to help his heart, he was on kidney dialysis, and he was being treated for an infection.
Flair’s manager, Melinda Morris Zanoni, recently told the Observer’s Tom Sorensen that Flair, 68, really wants to get out of the hospital and ‘be Ric Flair again,’ but he is unlikely to get out soon. Flair is progressing and resting, she said.
Zanoni has said she won’t give details about his illness, out of respect for the family’s privacy. However, she put wrestling fans on alert Aug. 13 with posts on social media that said Flair needed “prayers & positive energy” while dealing with some tough medical issues. She denied his problem was heart related in a later tweet, which the media widely reported as the problem.
Perhaps by coincidence, Flair’s souvineer shop is now selling a black tee-shirt that says: “I ain’t dead yet, Mother F***kers.”