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|Parko, not flying so high at the moment.|
It was at J-Bay last year that Joel Parkinson looked like he was going to absolutely run away with the title. He won the Billabong Pro, and was undoubtedly the man of the moment. Unfortunately he followed that performance with a busted ankle in Bali and a death spiral that saw him lose the world title in Hawaii. On the rebound this year, packing a couple solid results, it looks like he won't be defending his Billabong Pro crown.
Word coming out of Australia and being reported by both Australian Surfing Life and the ASP is that he was out surfing his homebreak of Snapper Rocks when he pulled into a tube, didn't come out, and ended up with a severe laceration to his ankle and calf that went all the way down to the bone. He was reportedly assisted out of the water by Andy Irons and was briefly hospitalized because of the wound.
"He tucked into a super dredgy one and just disappeared inside, then showed up bobbing around in the whitewash. He was definitely in a lot of pain. There were no rocks where he went down so he must have gotten mixed up with his board." told ASL photographer Andrew Shields, who was shooting at the time. "He was cut down to the bone around his ankle and calf area. He definitely wasn't walking."
At present, we've been in communication with Parkinson's camp and are waiting on an update, so this is about all we have for you at the moment. More to come. Best wishes to Parko, heal up quick.
UPDATE: According to a post on the official J-Bay website, Parkinson has officially pulled out of the event.
See photos and read more from ASL here.