What if Kelly's repetitive strain was indirectly pushing him into retirement? This is a question that will arise when the Floridian has just announced via his Instagram account that he suffered a new foot injury. "I've had five foot injuries since 2003. The latest one concerns a sprain of the main joint of the big toe on the same foot that was already hurting me. Not very serious but my participation in J-Bay is uncertain".
Bad news and bad timing. Kelly Slater seems to be dragging his foot injury contracted at J-Bay last year like a cannonball. Since that famous July 16, 2017, the Floridian has only participated in one CT event, it was the Pipe Master last December (enough however to make talk about him with this memorable drop of Gabriel Medina on the King). Since then, Kelly has been chaining the good and the bad.
While he obviously participated in the Founder's Cup held in his Surf Ranch, the King was mostly surprised in Fiji surfing one of the biggest swells in Cloudbreak's history. And this, while the Balinese ordeal of Keramas was being fought. The question then was whether the American did not choose his menu à la carte.
In his defense, if Kelly Slater had apparently recovered from his injury, he had not yet returned to his best level: "at least not to the level I would like and need to resume competition". That's what being a champion is all about. Kelly Slater certainly didn't want to compete again without knowing that he could give it his all. Make extras to please sponsors and the media? No, thanks.
This time, no need to doubt the Floridian's good faith. The King is well wounded. By almost forfeiting J-Bay, Kelly Slater is preventing himself from surfing one of his favorite waves and one of the most beautiful of the Tour. It was also to J-Bay that Kelly was to make his big comeback. The very spot he hurt himself on last year. A great comeback that now seems more than questioned. Just like the rest of the season.
The legitimate question now is whether or not Kelly will get a wildcard injury next year.
Currently ranked 36th with no events contested this season, the King is not able to requalify via the TC.
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