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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.
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.
Images from Leo's Instagram @lfioravanti