Richard Simmons: I'm 'so touched' by support as I fight knee injury

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By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

Fitness guru Richard Simmons tried to put fans at ease on Thursday amid reports that a knee injury had forced him out of the public eye and into a depression.

"I am so touched by the outpouring of love and concern I have received today," Simmons said in a statement. "I have had a tough time dealing with this injury, as it is keeping me from doing what I truly love to do, and that is to teach classes around the world. Keep on sweatin'!"

Concern for Simmons was sparked in part by a TMZ post that claimed he was "paralyzed with fear and depression" over the injury, and had tried numerous treatments, to no avail.

The injury has kept Simmons, 66, away from his Beverly Hills, Calif. fitness studio, Slimmons.

His manager, Michael Catalano, confirmed that his client "has been sidelined with a knee injury for the past several months," but did not go into detail about Simmons' health.