It’s been a little over a month since John John Florence sustained a debilitating injury in Bali that’s sidelined him from competition until further notice. Before said injury, it was already questionable whether the two-time world champ could mount a comeback following a slow start to win a third consecutive world title. After the injury, it’s an absolute certitude he will not.
Still, the 25-year-old phenom has plenty of years left to chase Kelly Slater’s 11-title record. But the road to recovery after a knee injury is long and arduous. That’s precisely why sources close to Florence say he’s drawing from the world’s best minds to find rehab techniques that’ll get him back in fighting shape. Plus he wants to spend more time with his globe-trotting, free-surfing brother, Nathan, who, it’s been said, he’s just a teeny bit jealous of.
According to inside sources, John is convinced that surfing Cloudbreak when it’s absolutely macking will be excellent therapy for his ailing leg.
“Recall that when Kelly Slater continued to struggle with a pesky, albeit serious foot injury, he came here to surf a once-every-few-years swell,” explained Dr. Aleutian Jones, the in-house physician at Tavarua Island Resort. “Hell, I wrote him the doctor’s note to skip out on Bali for much-needed recovery.”
Before dropping out of the Corona Bali Protected, Slater explained on Instagram that his foot simply wasn’t 100-percent. “Long story short, I am not on the level I want and need to be to compete,” he said. Remarkably, a few months after paddling into a few giant waves at Cloudbreak, the GOAT’s hoof was up to snuff for J-Bay. According to several sources, that’s precisely the kind of magic John John is hoping to harness with the unorthodox rehab regimen.
“[John] basically said, ‘If it worked for Kelly, it’ll work for me,'” said a friend who asked to remain anonymous. “We all think it sounds crazy, but he’s right. Kelly said he was injured but scratching into a few bombs seemed to set him straight. There must be some crazy healing properties in the water there or something.”
When asked if he was aware of Florence’s plan, Dr. Jones said he was.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said.
Editor’s note: Johnny Utah’s reporting is the result of years of undercover work for the Eff Bee Eye. It should not be taken lightly.