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Credit: WrestlingInc.com

We noted before that Sami Zayn was headed to Birmingham, Alabama this week to have his shoulder examined. Zayn was booked for the one-sided loss to Bobby Lashley at WWE Money In the Bank because of the injury, something he’s been working through.

WWE has confirmed that Zayn has been dealing with injuries to both of his rotator cuffs. He underwent surgery to repair the first rotator cuff today. Zayn spoke with the WWE website after surgery and said it well but he’s in a considerable amount of pain. There’s no word yet on when Zayn might be in action but he said he hopes to be back in time for the WrestleMania 35 build, likely in early 2019. Below are highlights from the interview:

This is obviously a surprise to the WWE Universe. Tell us a little bit about what you’ve been dealing with.

Well, right now I’m in Birmingham, Ala. I just underwent surgery for my right shoulder, a.k.a. my good shoulder. So, I’m out for a little while with that. I guess people don’t know about this injury; I’ve been working with it for some time. I don’t know exactly when I tore it. I think I tore it, or initially injured it, on a Montreal Live Event. Which is ironic because I injured my left shoulder — now somewhat famously — in Montreal in my [Raw] debut against John Cena. And at a Live Event this past August wrestling Jinder Mahal, I think I injured it then. But then my left shoulder, a.k.a my bad shoulder, started to act up again as well. That shoulder hasn’t quite been the same since surgery anyway, so I had just kind of gotten used to the fact that that shoulder was the bad one. But it started to get progressively worse, so basically, long story short, it turns out I have two torn rotator cuffs. The left one and the right one are both torn. I just underwent surgery on the right one, and then in about six or seven weeks, I’ll be undergoing surgery on the left one, and hopefully I can come back healthy and happy.

You mentioned you were competing with the injury for a while, but at what point did you know it was going to require surgery?

As I said when I hurt the right one, I kind of waited on that. I tore my left rotator cuff back in 2009 in a match with Kevin [Owens], and I knew immediately I was hurt. But with these two tears, I remembered a trauma with the right one, but it wasn’t as severe with what I remembered from a rotator cuff tear. It was sort of a nagging thing that bothered me for a few weeks, and I waited for it to get better, and then it didn’t get better. Funny enough, when we were doing tests on my shoulders to see if everything was okay with my right one, my left one turned out to be even worse. And as I had said, that was my “bad” shoulder. So then, the doctor ordered an MRI on my bad shoulder, and that’s when we found out it was torn — the left one, that is. That one, I honestly don’t know how long it was torn. It never felt the same from when I first came back three years ago. There’s a chance I re-tore it in rehab or it just progressively got worse; I honestly couldn’t tell you. So, I’ve been working with a bad left shoulder for a couple of years now.

Speaking of running your mouth, you had really just started to hit your stride on the microphone. Do you think you’ll be able to do anything on TV during your recovery that allows you to keep that up?

That’s really not a decision that’s up to me. Because of the timeline, I’d love to be in the mix for WrestleMania season; that’s the most exciting time of the year for all of us. I think timeline wise, I should be ready in time for WrestleMania, so fingers crossed. There’s never a good time to get hurt or get surgeries, but I do feel like I was starting to hit my stride and find my voice and find myself as a performer. Which is funny, because 16 years in, it’s like I’m rediscovering the art of it in a sense, because I’m doing something I’ve never really done before. So, how I come back, when I come back, that all remains to be seen. But I have a pretty good track record, I’d say overall, and I plan on carrying that forward when I come back. I want to come back just as good, if not better, than I’ve ever been.