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Another year, another year of John John Florence struggling through knee issues. One of the most popular competitive surfers in a generation announced that he’d undergone successful knee surgery this week after injuring his left leg in the Round of 16 at Western Australia.
“I woke up to the report from the surgeon that everything went as well as possible, and the procedure I had will give me the opportunity to surf at full strength sooner than I had hoped,” Florence wrote on Instagram. “Feeling motivated to really know that the Olympics are attainable. I’m excited for this and I’m gonna do everything I can to make it happen!”
You might recall that Florence struggled for two seasons with an ACL issue in his right knee, finally blowing it out in Brazil in 2019. He’d commandingly run out to the ratings lead that season and despite missing so many events, still managed to hold on to enough points with his strong start – and a brief appearance at Pipeline to solidify them – to qualify as one of the two top Americans for the U.S. Olympic team.
This time the injury was to his left leg. Florence gave scant details about the severity of the injury despite assurances to fans over social media that he’d keep them up to date. Unfortunately, it looks suspiciously like an ACL repair. I’ve had meniscus surgery myself and they don’t normally wrap you in a brace like that for cartilage repair alone. A three-month recovery would be impressive (I doubted him before, here). He gave no time table for his return to WSL action, only that he’s focused on the Olympic Games in Japan July 23-August 8. With surfing making its Olympic debut, the high-profile opportunity has become top priority for not just John John, but America’s other injured representative, Kolohe Andino.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.