Richard Simmons: Battling Depression and Injury, Unseen in Almost a Year

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Fitness guru Richard Simmons is battling severe depression stemming from a physical injury and has become reclusive, according to a new report.

Richard Simmons at the VMAs

Simmons was last seen in public back on January 11 at a charity event.

Various people who are close to him say he is not only reclusive, but wil not accept or return phone calls, and he has his housekeeper turn visitors away.

He hasn't been at his studio Slimmons in Beverly Hills in months.

The staff offers no explanation for his prolonged absence, which is highly unusual in that he was not just the name on the door, but a regular fixture there.

One source says a bad knee could be the root of his depression.

Doctors, reportedly, told the 66-year-old that he needs a left knee replacement and that if he doesn't get one, he will never be able to exercise again.

Simmons is said to be terrified of the surgery and has put it off.

Previously, he had his right knee replaced four years ago after putting that surgery for nearly a decade, so it's not the first time he's battled this fear.

Stem cell and red blood platelet therapy did not prove to be an adequate substitute for the surgery, however, and as a result, he is scared, and sad.

As such, he's become something of a reclusive this whole year.

Other friends and business associates worry that something even worse than his knee is plaguing him and that he needs help. But he remains closed off.

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