A much thinner, frail looking Ric Flair tweeted out a video Saturday, thanking fans for their support during a health scare that continues to keep him hospitalized.
The video, posted Saturday, features the 68-year-old wrestling icon in a black a T-shirt that says, “I ain’t dead yet, mother f***ers.” A tweet accompanying the video repeats that and adds: “I’m Backkkkk.”
“Hey, to all my fans out there, let it be known worldwide that Nature Boy, woooo!, is back up and running, looking as only I can look,” Flair says in the video, waving a finger at the camera. “I want to tell all my fans out there, thank you for the love and support and I will see you in the very...near future. Woooo.”
The 21-second video got 63,000 retweets, 4,900 comments and 134,000 likes within 20 hours.
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Flair’s arm appears to be bandaged with an IV clamp attached in the video.
Among the celebrity fans who have commented on the video is NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., who tweeted, “Legends never Die. Great to hear from you.” Earnhardt went on to list a handful of other wrestling legends like Dusty, Stone Cold, the Rock. “I didn’t learn to appreciate until I got older. Guys like him with the talent and personality are rare,” he said via a tweet.
Exactly what sidelined Flair – and had him in critical condition for days – has been the source of much speculation in the past month, including talk of a heart attack and a bacterial infection.
His fiancée, Wendy Barlow, is credited with writing a private Facebook post that says she is the one who took him to the hospital with severe abdominal pain.
“From that moment on, it all seems like a nightmare … multiple organ problems,” said a screenshot of the Facebook post.
Sports Illustrated reported Flair, a former Charlottean, had been treated for an intestinal blockage and wound up having part of his bowel removed.
It was recently reported that he is still hospitalized, but improving, and is starting physical therapy.
His manager, Melinda Zanoni, broke news of his illness with an Aug. 13 tweet that said Flair was “dealing with some tough medical issues” and needed prayers. She declined to explain what those health issues were, out of respect for the family’s privacy. Later that day, she said he had surgery, and had a “long road ahead.”
Flair made his first public statement on the issue Aug. 29, tweeting: “Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.”