- WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Matt Banting (AUS) have withdrawn from the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Stop No. 7 on the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT).

"Both Matt Banting and Jordy Smith withdrawn from the event due to their ongoing injuries," said WSL Deputy Commissioner Renato Hickel. "WSL Replacements numbers one and two declined their spots due to other commitments. WSL Replacements numbers three and four, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) and Garrett Parkes (AUS) accepted their spots."

Smith and Banting suffered freesurf injuries during the J-Bay Open and will each count the event in Tahiti as their second injury withdrawal of the season (Smith previously withdrew from the Fiji Pro). Smith, however, has had a particularly frustrating season injuring both his back and knee.

Smith on 2015
Jordy Smith talks the warm-up that wasn't meant to be in Jeffreys Bay.

After using the offseason to rehabilitate a shoulder injury he suffered during the Pipe Masters, he kicked the year off with solid results at Snapper and Bells. But his upswing was soon derailed when he hurt his knee in a freesurf during the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.

Still not feeling 100 percent, Smith finished 25th at the Oi Rio Pro and withdrew from the event that followed, the Fiji Pro. He made the most of his time off, rehabbing his knee in time for the J-Bay Open. But two days before the contest began, Smith's back went out. He ultimately decided to surf his Round 2 heat against Adam Melling (AUS) but was visibly sluggish throughout, and things eventually went Melling's way. Now at No. 22 on the Jeep rankings -- the lowest ranking a CT surfer can have and still requalify for the 2016 Tour -- it is likely that Smith will drop below the cutoff after Tahiti.

Smith's Skills, Before Injury
Jordy Smith's 10-point ride at last year's J-Bay Open was nominated as one of the Waves of the Year for the 2014 World Surf League Awards.

Don't forget to update your Fantasy Surfing teams before the event begins, the Billabong Pro Tahiti will air LIVE daily starting August 14 on worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL app.

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