Keith Lee has finally opened up on the reasons behind his lengthy absence from WWE in a video posted to his YouTube channel. The former NXT Champion took to the platform on Thursday to reveal he contracted COVID-19 and was also diagnosed with heart inflammation earlier this year.
The superstar disappeared from television right before the Royal Rumble in January. he returned to Raw briefly in early February but then would take another leave of absence in the middle of the month and didn’t show up again until mid-July.
Lee posted a number of cryptic tweets while he remained out but did assure fans he would deliver an explanation at some point. That explanation is finally here.
The 36-year-old noted having missed three weeks of WWE programming after testing positive for the coronavirus in January. After wrestling in February, he got a call telling him something was off with his bloodwork as his heart was inflamed. The condition made it so that he could not do much physical activity.
Lee beat Sheamus in a singles match during the January 11 episode of Raw, going off TV for three weeks before defeating Riddle on February 8.
He was booked to face Bobby Lashley for the United States Title at Elimination Chamber nearing the end of February but was taken off the card on the same day. WWE announced the former NXT star was in recovery after getting assaulted by Lashley and John Morrison would triumph in a Fatal Four-Way during the preshow to become his replacement vs. Bobby.
Lee returned five months later, responding to Lashley’s challenge for a championship contenders match before losing. He went on to fight current NXT champ, Karrion Kross, at the end of July and the beginning of August.