Reigning World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has withdrawn from her fifth event of the season, the Cascais Women's Pro, due to the injury she suffered nearly five months ago during the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
"My rehab is taking longer then I initially expected," said Gilmore. "Im returning to the water this weekend and am able to start training and surfing properly the following week. Fingers crossed I'll be back at 100 percent for the Roxy Pro France."
Gilmore made the journey from Australia to San Clemente, Calif., for Stop No. 7 the Swatch Women's Pro hoping to compete, before ultimately deciding it was not worth it to push her injury.
As the defending event champ, Gilmore's absence in Portugal comes at a critical point in the season for those on the Top 17 battling for a Title or requalification.
Despite missing the last four events, however, the six-time World Champion miraculously sits at No. 10 on the Jeep Leaderboard and will be replaced by former CT surfer Pauline Ado (FRA). Ado has already competed in one event this season as a wildcard, the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach, in which she placed 13th. However, the beachbreaks of Europe are much more familiar to the French surfer.