Back to the wall with surf injury
A BACK injury will keep former Lennox Head surfer Mikey Wright out of competition until April after a breakout season on the World Championship Tour this year.
It has been an injury plagued season for the Wright family after his older sister Tyler Wright missed most of the year with chronic fatigue after a bad case of influenza.
It meant she could not defend her world title for the third time while older brother Owen currently sits fifth on the men's world rankings ahead of the final event at Hawaii.
He knows all about injuries himself having missed all of 2016 with a head injury.
If all goes to plan, the trio will be back in the water together at the first CT event next year at the Gold Coast in April.
Mikey, 22, was coming off a quarter-final appearance at the Quicksilver Pro at France before withdrawing from the Vans World Cup in Hawaii last week.
The back injury stems from an event in February with two bulging discs pushing on the right side of his body.
"It sounds odd, but I was relieved (to miss Vans) because of how much pain I had been in. To be honest I had surfed for six months with constant pain,” Wright said.
"When I surf a heat, I'm pain free because I have adrenaline and I don't really feel it. But when I come back on land it's worse than it was before because it had just been flared up.”
"Once it was clear that I was positioned well to be qualified for next year, I was happy to take the time off to get my back sorted out.
"I had been dealing with it for too long for it to be normal. People deal with pain a lot longer, but six months of surfing and competing most weeks gets a bit too much.”
Suffolk Park surfer Soli Bailey has also qualified as a full-time competitor on the professional tour next season.