KELLY Slater is out of the 2017 J-Bay Open in South Africa after suffering a freak injury between rounds on Monday.
The 11-time World Surf League champion was free-riding at the Boneyards when an awkward exit from a barrel left him writhing in pain with a shattered foot.
X-ray scans posted on Instragram revealed the extent of a sickening injury the recipient described as “like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can”.
You ever folded your entire foot backwards? If you try it sometime, this is what it might look like. I pulled into a barrel this morning and the whitewash bounced the board back into my foot as I hit the closeout, taking all the pressure into the metatarsals. Kinda like smashing my foot with a big hammer as hard as I can. Sorta feels like I’m giving birth out of my foot right now! I’m guessing surgery and 6 week holiday is in order. Not looking forward to 30 hour flight home before surgery though. Ouch! It sucks but so many people deal with such horrible things around this world everyday that a broken foot is pretty minor in the scheme of things. Sometimes a bad thing is a good thing. I’ll make the best of my time off. #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark #INeedElephantTranquilizers
Slater had shown strong early form at Jeffreys Bay – the site of Mick Fanning’s terrifying encounter with a shark in 2015.
The American had progressed directly into the third round after beating Julian Wilson and Kanoa Igarashi in the opening heats.
His exit means a free ride into the fourth round for Filipe Toledo, who set the early benchmark on his return from suspension.
The injury is expected to keep Slater sidelined for six weeks.
That means a no-show at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, where online bookmaker CrownBet.com had him pegged as a +900 chance for the title.
2017 Billabong Pro Tahiti outright odds
+400 – John John Florence
+450 – Gabriel Medina
+700 – Owen Wright
+800 – Jordy Smith
+900 – Kelly Slater
+1000 – Julian Wilson
+1400 – Mick Fanning, Adriano de Souza
+1600 – Filipe Toledo, Joel Parkinson, Kolohe Andino, Matt Wilkinson
+2500 – Italo Ferreira
+3300 – Sebastian Zietz
+4000 – Caio Ibelli, Kanoa Igarashi, Jack Freestone, Wiggolly Dantas, Adrian Buchan, Ezekiel Lau
+5000 – Connor O’Leary, Frederico Morias, Josh Kerr, Miguel Pupo, Jeremy Flores
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