Nikki Bella made it through her neck surgery successfully, but questions still remain about her WWE career.
Bella’s health issues were announced back in November, when it was revealed that a lingering injury would require extensive time off to avoid the neck surgery that she ultimately had to undergo anyway.
“I have basically a broken neck, a pretty bad herniated disk,” Bella told E! News at the time. “What makes mine a little bit difficult than most people is that I have some disk behind my vertebrae, so with a lot of prayers we’re gonna pray that the doctors can get the piece behind my vertebrae with just a bone fusion.” [sic]
A long break from the ring wasn’t enough to rehabilitate her neck, however, so Bella underwent the surgery this week to fuse a number of the vertebrae in her neck. According to Uproxx, skipping the surgery and returning to the ring could have left Bella, a former WWE Divas champion, paralyzed.
On Thursday, Bella’s boyfriend John Cena tweeted a photo of her recovering in a hospital bed, with a message letting her fans know that the surgery had been a success.
“What a strong woman! That smile makes me melt. Asking u to keep @BellaTwins in your thoughts 2day #StayFearless,” he wrote.
— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 27, 2016
But even though the surgery was successful, it doesn’t guarantee that Bella will be able to return to the ring anytime soon. According to Uproxx, she can’t travel for at least three months, and the full recovery time for this kind of surgery actually looks more like six months. Even after that time, there’s no guarantee that she’ll be strong enough to return to fighting at the level she did as a Divas champion.