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The Challenge: Nelson Thomas shares ‘disheartening’ update about his car crash injury

nelson thomas in the challenge world championship
The Challenge’s Nelson Thomas received difficult news about his recovery from ankle surgery. Pic credit: Paramount+

It’s been seven months for The Challenge’s Nelson Thomas since he was in a scary car wreck in Texas, where others heroically saved him from a burning car.

The aftermath had the reality TV star hospitalized for weeks and requiring several surgeries to repair a severe ankle injury, among other injuries he sustained in the crash.

Nelson has shared updates throughout his ongoing recovery as he performed rehabilitation for his ankle in the pool, at the gym, and under the guidance of a physical therapist.

He seemed to remain optimistic regarding his recovery, letting fans, followers, and friends know that he was staying positive and trying to improve at least a bit each day.

His most recent update was emotional and difficult, though, as he revealed “disheartening news” regarding his ankle following his surgery.

The former Challenge finalist choked back tears in an Instagram video as he spoke about getting X-rays back and a disappointing decision he may have to make.

Nelson Thomas shares ‘disheartening’ update about his ankle

In his IG update video, Nelson indicated that his orthopedist had told him that the bone in his ankle had “rebroken” and the screw was “out of place” that had been inserted in during surgery.

He explained that the injury hasn’t been healing, and he previously thought it might be pain due to “overworking” during his rehab efforts at the gym for PT.

Nelson indicated the bone broke where they’d inserted the screw and plates into his ankle, so it didn’t heal properly.

“I’m so f***ing mad right now,” Nelson said before explaining the options his doctor gave him.

“The stage I’m in right now is called a salvage stage, which either they can salvage my ankle, or they can amputate it,” he shared.

“Right now, at this point, it’s been seven months since my surgery. When I got out of surgery, my doctor said it would take up to a year for me to heal. These last seven months have been a f***ing waste,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he had to do a CT scan and get some bloodwork done, and then when he saw his doctor, he would have to decide to get an ankle fusion to salvage things or have his ankle amputated.

Nelson said he felt mentally drained and “didn’t know” what to do, adding that he wouldn’t let this latest situation break him.

“I’m just so over hearing bad news. I just wanted some good news today,” he said.

“I received the most disheartening news about my ankle. I’ve chosen to seek a second opinion from a specialist. If you have any recommendations for doctors who specialize in ankle fusion or related treatments, please leave a comment below,” Nelson wrote in his caption.

Challenge castmates react to Nelson’s emotional update

As Nelson has regularly shared updates, many of his castmates and friends from MTV’s The Challenge have commented with words of encouragement along the way. That continued with his latest update regarding his ankle situation.

“I am soooo sorry to hear this. You already know you’re constantly in our thoughts and prayers. Continuing to send you lots of love and prayers 🙏🏽❤️,” Kam Williams commented.

“I’m so sorry to hear this Nelly!!! You’ve been and will continue to be in my thoughts. Sending you strength and praying for you,” Nelson’s castmate and friend, Aneesa Ferreira, wrote.

kam williams and aneesa comment to nelson thomas
Pic credit: @_nelsonthomas/Instagram

Additional comments offering love, support, and encouragement came from former castmates, including Nicole Zanatta, Kaz Crossley, Joss Mooney, and Corey Lay.

“You’re so strong and the man upstairs isn’t going to give you something you can’t handle,” Nicole told her castmate.

Corey, who debuted as a rookie on MTV’s Season 37, suggested that Nelson “definitely get a second opinion” regarding what to do about his ankle situation.

cast from the challenge react to nelson ankle update
Pic credit: @_nelsonthomas/Instagram

Nelson, a two-time finalist on MTV’s The Challenge, last appeared in The Challenge: World Championship, a spinoff on Paramount Plus. Before that, he was on MTV’s Ride or Dies with his friend Nurys Mateo.

His car wreck occurred this past March in Texas, with Nelson revealing he was saved from the burning car by NFL player KJ Osborn and others in a group that had been driving on the same road. A friend set up a GoFundMe campaign to assist with his substantial medical bills.

Nelson, 34, went through multiple hospitalizations and surgeries before beginning his rehabilitation process over the past several months. In one update in the past few months, he indicated people shouldn’t count out his return to compete in The Challenge.

With his situation unclear right now, it seems he’s not ready to give up on what’s been a difficult road to recovery.

The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion premieres Wednesday, October 25, at 8/7c on MTV.

Episodes of The Challenge are now streaming on Paramount+. Try it FREE!

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