With TNA creative's shift in recent months to solely focusing on talent with etched storylines, James' screen time was drastically curtailed in the spring and summer, leading to her being removed altogether in August. In September, she aggravated a rib injury during a live event tour and decided to take away from the ring. During her hiatus, she underwent surgery to remove a large benign mass, according to the Wrestling Observer. In October, James tweeted a photo of herself at the hospital after having undergone surgery, but did not mention the nature of the procedure.
James was said to be in great spirits on the night of her return.