Confusion over Thorpe wellbeing
Ian Thorpe. Pic: Getty Images

There was confusion today concerning Ian Thorpe's health with his management denying the former swimming star has been in rehab and had instead undergone shoulder surgery.

It was widely reported that the five-time Olympic champion had checked out of rehab this morning after admitting himself last night, as he battles "crippling depression" and alcohol abuse.

Thorpe was believed to have returned to a family home in Sydney after spending time at Bankstown Hospital and Strathfield Private Hospital in what was described as the latest round in a decade-long battle with his inner demons.

However, Thorpe's SEL Management team released a statement saying that was not the case.

"Ian is not in rehab. Ian was in hospital for an operation on his shoulder ... he is now out of hospital and on the mend," it said.

Thorpe, 31, had been living in Switzerland for 18 months, but returned to Sydney to spend the Christmas period with his family at his parents' Panania home.

He was injured in a fall earlier in the week, News Corp Australia reported on Friday, and was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night.

Friends say Thorpe has struggled to adjust to life after swimming and with the disappointment of a failed comeback at the London Olympics in 2012.

Thorpe announced last year he had given up hope of competing at the this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics because of a shoulder injury.

Thorpe, who has been seen at social events over the New Year, including the Australian Open in Melbourne, has spoken of constant pain from an old back injury.

He released an autobiography last year in which he said he'd struggled with depression and alcohol abuse.

"Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression," he wrote.

Thorpe said he had also used alcohol as a way of dealing with hard times in his life.

A close friend of Thorpe told News Corp on Thursday night that they were thinking of the swimming legend.

"He had an accident at home," the friend said.

"He slipped and hurt himself.

"We're hoping he's going to be OK and make a full recovery."

Broadcaster Alan Jones, a close friend of Thorpe's, also said the swimmer had been going through some problems recently.

"Yes, it's serious but there's not a lot I can or want to add," Jones said on Thursday night.

"Ian is a beautiful person but he has difficulty recognising his problems."

- Readers seeking support and information about depression can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Follow Us

More from The West