The Great Khali made his return to the WWE on Sunday, interfering in the main event at Battleground and helping Jinder Mahal retain the WWE championship. This marked The Great Khali’s first time on WWE programming in almost three years.
In real life, 44-year-old Dalip Singh Rana is over seven feet tall, and he has experienced some health issues over the years due to a disorder he suffers from. Still, he says that he feels he is healthy enough to get in the ring again.
Following his big return, here’s what you need to know about the health of The Great Khali.
1. He Suffers From Acromegaly
The Great Khali suffers from acromegaly, a disorder that results from excess growth hormones and that affects about six people per 100,000, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.
In cases where the excess growth hormone is produced during a person’s youth, this usually results in gigantism, as is the case with The Great Khali, who is 7′1″ and who weighs 346 pounds.
In addition, those suffering from acromegaly often have enlarged jaws, foreheads, hands, and feet.
2. He Had a Tumor Removed in 2012
Those who suffer from acromegaly often have a benign tumor, which is what causes the excess growth hormone production.
This was the case with The Great Khali, who had a tumor on his pituitary gland, the gland that produces growth hormone.
In 2012, The Great Khali underwent surgery to have this tumor removed, according to ABC News. Dr. Glenn Braunstein, an endocrionologist, asked in an interview if ABC News “whether treatment was put off because Singh’s surging growth hormone levels were helping him become one of the most formidable wrestlers in the nation.”
Following his surgery, Khali was away from the WWE for a bit, but he returned three months later on October 16th.
3. He Is at Greater Risk of Facing Health Issues Including Heart Disease
Although The Great Khali did have his tumor removed in 2012, he is still at risk of experiencing health issues going forward.
According to ABC News, because of Khali’s acromegaly, he is at greater risk of suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Andre the Giant, for example, suffered from acromegaly, and he experienced a number of health issues throughout his life, culminating in his death of congestive heart failure at the age of 46.
Big Show is another wrestler who has suffered from acromegaly, but he had surgery on his pituitary gland done in the early 1990s, and this halted the progress of the disease.
4. He Has Suffered Numerous Injuries But Says He Is Doing Well
Anyone who has been wrestling as long as The Great Khali has has certainly put their body through a lot.
However, Khali said in a 2016 interview with Sportskeeda that despite this wear and tear over the years, he’s doing well.
“That’s a part and parcel of the business,” Khali said. “I’ve been injured numerous times before, but as they say here, ‘mard ko dard nehi hota.’ So I’m doing well now.”
In addition, Khali said in a 2015 interview that he is healthy enough to get back in the ring, according to Wrestling Inc.
Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen; in order to wrestle again, The Great Khali will have to pass World Wrestling Entertainment’s physical if he hasn’t already.
While it was not an injury, one instance of The Great Khali not being able to wrestle due to health concerns came at The Great American Bash 2006. Khali was to face The Undertaker in the first ever Punjabi Prison match, but he was not medically cleared to compete due to elevated liver enzymes.
5. He Was Last in the Ring in February 2017
Although The Great Khali has been away from the WWE for the past few years, it hasn’t been too long since he was in a ring.
In February, The Great Khali had two matches with Big Time Wrestling, one against Jeff Lewis Neal and one against Jake Manning. However, neither of these were really proper matches; Khali just showed up and quickly defeated his opponents within a mater of moments without much effort.
Khali’s last proper wrestling match in the WWE came in October 2014, when he faced Rusev on an episode of SmackDown. On the October 31st episode, Rusev made Khali tap out. Not long after, Khali’s contract expired, and he did not re-sign.
It’s unclear what the plan for The Great Khali is going forward, but rumor has it that he will be used for a match or two, including one possibly at SummerSlam, according to Cageside Seats.
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