'Serious' infection for Thorpe

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe is fighting a "serious infection" in a Sydney hospital and may never swim competitively again, according to his manager.

The five-time Olympic champion is being treated with large doses of antibiotics for an infection picked up following a third operation on his left shoulder.

"It's serious but it's not life-threatening," Thorpe's agent James Erskine told Australian Associated Press. "From a competitive point of view - he will not be swimming competitively again I don't think."

Thorpe, who has won 11 World Championship golds, was admitted to hospital earlier this year to treat depression after he was found disoriented in Sydney and Erskine admitted later Thorpe had been taking a mixture of anti-depressants and medication for his shoulder.

The 31-year-old won three golds on his Olympic debut at the 2000 Sydney Games and clinched another two in Athens four years later, only to announce his retirement in 2006 at the age of 24, citing a lack of motivation.

He announced he would return to the pool in 2011 in a bid to qualify for London 2012, but he failed to make the Australian team after disappointing at the national trials, later describing his comeback as a "fairytale turned into a nightmare".

Thorpe announced last year he had given up hope of competing at this summer's Commonwealth Games and at the 2016 Olympics in Rio because of his ongoing shoulder problem.