Last week WWE claimed Sheamus was absent from Monday Night Raw because he was back in Ireland visiting his family. However, as Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week, that wasn't the real reason.
"While they said Sheamus was out of action last week because he was on a trip back to Ireland, he's actually rehabbing spinal stenosis, which is not a good thing at all," Meltzer wrote. "Spinal stenosis ended the careers of Edge and Steve Austin."
This could be be bad news for the three-time WWE Champion. Sheamus has suffered a number of injuries during his professional wrestling career, including a pre-WWE neck injury that kept him out of action for two years and a torn labrum in 2014 that kept him off television for six months.
Spinal stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes the spine to compress. As Meltzer mentioned, spinal stenosis was what caused both Steve Austin and Edge to retire, as both suffered multiple severe neck injuries over the course of their careers.
Sheamus has been in WWE since 2009, making his first appearance as a member of WWE's ECW roster. Just 166 days after his debut, he defeated John Cena in a tables match at TLC to become WWE Champion, making him the first Irish-born world champion. Sheamus would go on to have three more runs as world champion, most-recently via a Money in the Bank cash-in on Roman Reigns at Survivor Series in 2015.
Since May of last year he's been feuding against and teaming with Cesaro in a tag team known as "The Bar." The two are currently on their third reign as the Raw Tag Team Champions and successfully defended their titles against Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins on this week's Monday Night Raw.