Missy Franklin has revealed she needed surgery on both shoulders after an MRI scan showed a build up of bursal and scar tissue.
The USA Swimming star took to Twitter on Wednesday to offer an explanation for her recent absence from the pool and underwhelming performance at the Rio Olympics in August.
Franklin took gold in a relay event in Rio, though it was a disappointing follow-up to her five-medal performance as a 17-year-old at the London Olympics in 2012.
The 21-year-old disclosed she underwent separate surgeries earlier this year to correct the problem after an MRI in January revealed she had issues with both of her shoulders.
"I wanted to let my friends and fans know that I'll be taking some time off to recover from shoulder surgery," she posted.
"I had started feeling pain in my shoulders last year but it wasn't until January, when I had an MRI, that I learned that I had bursitis in both shoulders.
"I had separate surgeries on both shoulders earlier this year to get rid of the built up bursal and scar tissue and my focus now is to take the time I need to get better (Doctor and Coach's orders!).
"I am already back in the water in limited training but I won't be back in competitions just yet. It won't be easy, but I know this is what's best for me to come back stronger than ever! Thank you all for your continued love and support."
Franklin also shared the statement on her Facebook page, clarifying she is "so far from being done with this sport" and "far from being done fighting." She hasn't raced since Rio and is expected to take more time off to rehabilitate from the procedures.