BREAKING NEWS: Joel Parkinson Withdraws from Billabong Pro J-Bay After Injury
COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia - Joel Parkinson (29, Coolangatta) has officially pulled out of next week's Billabong Pro at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, after badly slicing his foot while surfing at his home break of Snapper Rocks this morning.
"I just pulled into a barrel and have been taken out by the foamball, and pretty well straight away I've felt the board hit me," says Joel, the current world number 8. "I knew immediately it was a pretty serious cut. I didn't want to look at it when I came in because I knew it wouldn't be good." Joel was helped up the beach to a waiting ambulance by good friend and three-time world champion, Andy Irons who had been surfing with him.
The cut is on the underside of Joel's right foot, just in front of his heel. Due to fly out early next week for South Africa, the injury will not have time to heal and as such Joel has made the decision to miss the Jeffreys Bay event, where he is the defending champion.
"It's one of my favourite events, so I'm obviously disappointed that I won't be there this year. After having such a long break I was really looking forward to competing again and really looking forward to just surfing J-Bay."
Joel's disappointment wasn't confined to missing J-Bay. "Did you see how perfect the wave I did it on was? One of the most perfect waves I've ridden at Snapper and I go and cut my foot on it!"
While Joel will miss J-Bay, there is a six-week break until the following event, the Billabong Pro in Tahiti starting on August 23, and there are no doubts that he'll be ready for it. "In a way I was lucky it happened now and not later in the year when the events are all back-to-back. At least I have the time now to get it right and get ready for Tahiti."