The WSL made the announcement that Owen Wright, who took off the first half of the tour due to a serious head injury, has withdrawn from the rest of the 2016 tour
The Inertia reports that the WSL has announced that Owen Wright will not be competing in the second half of the 2016 tour. Right before the 2015 Pipe Masters, Owen Wright, who was on track to clinch a World Title, sustained a major head injury: a severe concussion and bleeding in his brain, the result of a hold down. After the incident, Wright decided to withdraw from the first half of this year’s tour.
Back in February, Wright said, "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 expressed that he had been working with top specialists since the incident, but because the healing time of brain injuries is so hard to predict, added that he may not be able to compete at all this season.
Unfortunately, this prediction turned out to be true. The WSL announced Tuesday morning Wright has officially withdrawn from the rest of the 2016 season.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."
“Owen is one of the most impressive athletes to ever grace our sport and the WSL fully supports him taking the time he needs to return to 100 percent,” WSL Commissioner Kieren Perrow said. “He’s been sorely missed on tour this year, but I know that he’s in all our thoughts and we all look forward to seeing him healthy again and sharing the lineup with us.”
Wright’s place on the tour will be filled by Stuart Kennedy, who appeared at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast semifinals earlier in the year.