ONE of the Hunter's big hopes in the Newcastle Cup - Morgan Cibilic - injured his foot surfing and went for scans on Tuesday night before his heat-five battle against dual world champion John John Florence.
The scare in the Cibilic camp comes on top of local women's wildcard Philippa Anderson being bundled out in her round-of-16 heat with WSL title holder Carissa Moore when competition resumed from four lay days.
Ciblic said he was surfing at Bar Beach earlier this week when he landed "a floater" and knew he had done himself some damage.
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A floater sees the surfer riding across the top of the whitewater and then down onto the blue water below.
This type of manoeuvre, along with high-flying aerials, place a lot of strain on a surfer's legs and feet and are a regular cause of injury.
"I blew a knee out two years ago which was my worst, but this is the first thing I've done like this," he told the Newcastle Herald.
Ciblic said he was seeing specialists and awaiting results to determine whether he had broken a bone in his left foot, and if there was any ligament damage.
"I'm doing everything to ensure I can be out there tomorrow," he said.
The injury is to Cibilic's left or leading foot for the natural-footed surfer.
While he would prefer full fitness, Cibilic agreed it was better than if it was his rear or right foot, with surfers driving a lot of their power through their back leg.
"At first I didn't think it was too bad, but it's still hurting a lot and so I am waiting for the scans and then seeing the specialists."
The loss of last year's tour means the World Surf League ratings are not as timely as they would otherwise be and Cibilic is one 16 in the top 34 rated equal #17.
John John Florence, the 2016 and 2017 world champion, is alone at the top of the leader board in first position after winning the Pipeline Masters, the first event in a COVID-impacted 2021 season that begin with Pipe in December 2020.
Fellow Merewether surfers Ryan Callinan and Jackson Baker are expected to hit the water on Wednesday with round-of-32 battles booked against Crosby Colapinto and Italo Ferreira respectively. Adopted Novocastrian Julian Wilson now meets Jack Robinson in heat four.
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