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Thorpe checks out of rehab

By AAP .
31 January 2014 04:15PM EST

IAN Thorpe has reportedly checked out of rehab as he battles "crippling depression" and alcohol abuse.

The five-time Olympic champion is believed to have returned to a family home in Sydney after spending time at Bankstown Hospital and Strathfield Private Hospital in the latest round in a decade-long battle with his inner demons.

News Corp Australia reported that Thorpe was believed to have left hospital for home early on Friday morning after being under medical supervision since Wednesday night.

Thorpe, 31, had been living in Switzerland for 18 months, but returned to Sydney to spend the Christmas period with his family at his parents' Panania home.

He was injured in a fall earlier in the week, News Corp Australia reported on Friday, and was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night.

Friends say Thorpe has struggled to adjust to life after swimming and with the disappointment of a failed comeback at the London Olympics in 2012.

Thorpe announced last year he had given up hope of competing at the this year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics because of a shoulder injury.

Thorpe, who has been seen at social events over the New Year, including the Australian Open in Melbourne, has spoken of constant pain from an old back injury.

He released an autobiography last year in which he said he'd struggled with depression and alcohol abuse.

"Not even my family is aware that I've spent a lot of my life battling what I can only describe as crippling depression," he wrote.

Thorpe said he had also used alcohol as a way of dealing with hard times in his life.

A close friend of Thorpe told News Corp on Thursday night that they were thinking of the swimming legend.

"He had an accident at home," the friend said.

"He slipped and hurt himself.

"We're hoping he's going to be OK and make a full recovery."

Broadcaster Alan Jones, a close friend of Thorpe's, also said the swimmer had been going through some problems recently.

"Yes, it's serious but there's not a lot I can or want to add," Jones said on Thursday night.

"Ian is a beautiful person but he has difficulty recognising his problems."

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