Leonardo Fioravanti spent Saturday night in the hospital after getting hit in the head with his own board during a foggy Saturday morning surf session in Huntington Beach. The board flew back at him during a botched aerial attempt.
According to various texts and an Instagram post from Fioravanti, doctors put 20 stitches in his head, both internal and external. The board hit him directly in front of his left ear.
Whether or not he'll be able to surf in the Vans US Open of Surfing is still to be determined, but there's little doubt he wants to compete. On his Instagram Leo made it clear he was going to try, posting, "Going to do everything in my power to be ready to surf my heat on Tuesday!!"
The 18-year-old Italian is the current leader QS leader, and has been one of the brightest stars of the 2016 season with his clutch performances surfing as a replacement in Championship Tour events. He placed 5th at Margaret River. A solid result at the Open can secure him a spot on next year's Championship Tour.
The Italian is no stranger to hospitals. He broke his back at Pipeline during the 2014/15 winter season. His remarkable recovery took months of grueling physical therapy. At this stage, there's little doubt this is anything more than a temporary setback.
Stay tuned for updates on this story as they emerge.