Thorpe in good spirits, says team

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe is in “good spirits” in a Sydney hospital as he fights a serious infection and reports that he might lose the use of his arm are “nonsense”, his manager said on Wednesday.

The five-times Olympic champion, who retired after the Athens Olympics before making an unsuccessful comeback bid for the 2012 London Games, contracted the infection after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year.

“He's fine, he's a battler,” James Erskine told Channel 9's Today programme.
“He's in good spirits, you know, he's got drips in, he's got antibiotics and all that sort of thing so he's not exactly going to swim in the Commonwealth Games tomorrow.”
Erskine said he was not sure how long Thorpe, who attended the wedding of Britain’s Prince William in 2011 and might have been expected to catch up with the royal on the upcoming tour of Australia, would remain in hospital.

“As of yesterday he's not in intensive care. He's a sick boy, he's not going to get out and have a cup of coffee and go and meet Prince William,” he said of the 31-year-old.
“At the end of the day he's fighting it, he's got an infection and like any of these infections you get in hospitals, they have to take it seriously.”

As for Tuesday's reports that the infection could leave Thorpe without the use of his left arm, Erskine was dismissive.

“I think that's all poetic licence,” he said. “You could say what's the worst case scenario, I mean, people have died from these infections. But that's just people making it up, that's just nonsense.”

Erskine said on Tuesday that he thought Thorpe's swimming career was almost certainly over if only because of the impact of the surgery on his shoulder.

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