If you wondered why Shelton Benjamin wasn’t on SmackDown Live last Tuesday, contrary to what was hyped up, the man himself has answered that question, breaking the bad news that he won’t be making his WWE comeback due to a “serious” shoulder injury that requires surgery.

Benjamin to undergo surgery, will have to put wrestling “to the side”

In a series of tweets earlier today, the 41-year-old Benjamin said that he is “disappointed and sadden [sic]” to announce he won’t be returning to the SmackDown Live brand, as was originally advertised almost two weeks ago. At that time, no specific date was given for his return, but many had expected him to appear on the following week’s SmackDown Live episode.

Benjamin added that he will be undergoing surgery on his torn rotator cuff, and will have to “put pro Wrestling to the side” for the meantime, as he seeks to focus on “repairing (his) body and mind.”

Comeback was highly-awaited by his fans

Despite Benjamin being older than almost everyone on WWE’s regular and part-time roster of performers, many were looking forward to see him return to the ring, after years away from the company. This was also because fans had generally felt he wasn’t given enough opportunity to live up to his potential, despite his athletic and in-ring ability.

Prior to signing with WWE, Benjamin was a legit amateur wrestler, competing for the University of Minnesota, and coaching another future WWE talent, Brock Lesnar, after he graduated.

Both men had teamed up in the Minnesota Stretching Crew in WWE’s former developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling, and had both debuted on the main roster in the early 2000s, albeit separately, and not as a tag team. And while Lesnar would quickly get pushed to the main event, Benjamin had mostly been a fixture of the midcard, having worn theWWETag Team, United States, and Intercontinental titles by the time he was released from WWE in 2010.

Benjamin leaves WWE return up in the air

Although it's clear that Benjamin won't be returning to WWE anytime in the near future, it's worth mentioning that he still hopes to compete for the company where he had first gained fame as a professional wrestler. One of his tweets promised that he "will be back," but given the nature of rotator cuff surgery and how it could cause one to miss months of action, that might not be happening anytime soon.

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