The unthinkable in the WWE may be coming to fruition if the latest backstage rumours courtesy of PWInsider are to be believed.
Per the report:
"One thing that wasn't reported after his WrestleMania match with Triple H this year is that the hip replacement he had a few years back was damaged pretty bad.
There is talk that some of the surgical work he has had done over the past few years is really beat up to the point that he's back to square one.
There is also a lot of talk within WWE that if he does end up doing anything at WrestleMania 29, it likely won't be a big time physical match like we are used to.Right now The Undertaker is not being figured into any major WrestleMania plans internally.
The feeling is if he wants to do it and feels like he can do it, WWE will make room for him. It wouldn't be the first time but it's possible could see The Undertaker skip a WrestleMania in 2013."
For most fans of the WWE, such a backstage report may be treated with frowns and heavy sighs, but in truth, the day when Mark Calaway could no longer compete inside the ring may have been coming for a while.
His "End of an Era" match with Triple H at this year's showcase pay-per-view had a significant finality about it.
The way the two Attitude Era icons, escorted by Shawn Michaels, made their way up the ramp to give the raucous crowd a curtain call seemed to suggest the end was nigh.
Of course, it is still possible that Calaway is able to recover from his physical issues and take part in a match against the likes of CM Punk, Ryback or John Cena.
But with the man having turned 47 this year, possessing a body as beat up as most, the cynical side of me sees this as unlikely.
A Royal Rumble appearance may be more of a possibility though, but I struggle to see him taking part in another physical showdown along the lines of his epic fights in recent years with Triple H and Michaels.
What do you think of the reports on Undertaker's health? How do you rate the odds of him appearing at WrestleMania?