Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater announced on Instagram today that he had successful surgery on his broken foot. In a post featuring a photo of his statue in his hometown of Cocoa Beach, Florida, with a wrap on its right foot, Slater said, “Well … surgery was a success.”

Well…surgery was a success.

A post shared by Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) on

Slater broke multiple bones in his foot during a freesurf earlier this month at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. In an interview on the webcast of the J-Bay Open after his foot was broken, Slater revealed that he could be out four to six months — possibly even longer.

In an Instagram story also posted today, Slater showed an X-ray of his foot. It revealed five different breaks, a dreaded Lisfranc tear and screws and plates that were inserted along two of his toes.

The image of the X-ray Kelly Slater posted on his Instagram story. Photo: Courtesy of @kellyslater/Instagram

It is an extremely serious injury for a 45-year-old competitive surfer. Lisfranc tears infamously occur in professional football players, and they tend to take several months to properly heal. Add a few plates and screws and five breaks to that equation and this is not what surf fans who are hoping Slater will achieve that elusive 12th world title and ride off into the sunset want to hear.

This certainly lessens Slater’s chances of coming back as a full-time competitor on the Championship Tour, given his age and his already well-documented struggles staying in the top echelon of contests. That said, he is the greatest surfer ever to live, and what a story that would make if he were to come back against these odds.

Hopefully now Slater can focus on healing and rehabbing, because we definitely want to see him back in the water. Stay tuned to GrindTV for more details about the champ’s recovery time. Heal up soon, champ.

Kelly Slater with his broken foot in a walking boot back at J-Bay. Photo: Courtesy of Pierre Tostee/World Surf League

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