The last time we saw Owen Wright in a contest jersey he was within arm’s reach of a World Title. Pipe took that away from him. A hold down left Wright with a severe concussion and bleeding in his brain, shutting down the goofy footer’s title campaign right before the 2015 Pipe Masters. A few months later Wright was still recovering when he decided to withdraw from the first half of this year’s tour.
“It’s disappointing to have to withdraw from the opening events of the year, but the important thing is to ensure that I am 100% healthy for when I return to that level of competition,” Wright said in February. “I’ve been working regularly with top specialists in the country and they’ve given me a lengthy rehabilitation time before I’m able to feel normal again and a period of time after that before they’re confident I can perform at the elite level without additional risk. Head injuries are tricky in terms of mapping out recovery time and it’s possible that I may not be able to pull the jersey on all year.”
Sadly, that is the case now. The WSL announced Tuesday morning Wright has officially withdrawn from the rest of the 2016 season.
“It’s always difficult being away from the water for me,” Wright told the WSL. “It’s also a major challenge to give myself time to heal because I want to be back in the singlet so badly. That said, I understand that I have more rehabilitation ahead of me until that’s possible. I’m feeling better every day and I want to thank everyone for the support so far. I miss my friends and family on tour and I’m looking forward to seeing them all again soon. Thanks again for the support.”
Taking his place in the five remaining stops will be Stuart Kennedy, who made a semifinals appearance at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast to kick off 2016.
I think it’s fair to say while we all miss seeing Owen Wright on tour, the entire surf world will be grateful and relieved when he’s 100% healthy again.