Knee Injury Sidelines Jamie O'Brien / Heath Walker Duffs Hard at Backdoor

SURFERMAG.COM: When did you get hurt?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Well, I just got home from California, and I was home for about two weeks and got a really good swell at Pipe. Surfed, whatever, ten feet Pipe, Backdoor, whatever, got pounded. Went to Brazil the following day, it was one foot and onshore and I…at the end of my heat I just did a backside reverse 360 and as I was coming down my board spun really quick and just tweaked my knee in…bent my knee in…happened almost four weeks ago.

SURFERMAG.COM: So your board kept rotating after your foot was planted?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yeah my board just kept going…and it felt like I got compressed at the same time it rotated and I just heard it pop…POAOP…I was like Owwww, and I just fell off the wave. Right there I was just thinking, I really do hate this place and it could not get any worse, one foot, uh, I don't know, the real agony was having to fly all the way back home, like 2 days to get home.

SURFERMAG.COM: You played “Mr. Throbbing leg" with all your equipment at the airports?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yep, limping around the airport with like a board bag, duffle bag and video.

SURFERMAG.COM: Did you have anyone to travel with or help you?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: No, I was pretty solo all the way home…just cruising.

SURFERMAG.COM: Then you saw a doctor when you got back here?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yeah, I went to check out my doctor a few days later and a lot of people where like, 'Oh, it's this and that, you know, could be this, or could be that, so I was kind of getting worried, So I said, 'I really hate you doctors', but I went to the doctor, he checked it out and he said he thinks it is a MCL tear. Week later I went to another doctor for a MRI and they said it was kind of torn, but still holding together a little bit. They said it was only a Grade 1. I guess for a surfer that is still pretty bad.

SURFERMAG.COM: You've been injured plenty times before, on the pain scale how would you rate this one? More painful than an ankle break?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Pain…it's kind of weird, I mean, it hurt a little bit at first, and I guess this is the longest the pain has been around. 'Cause every time I move in… I get this sharpest pain you grab your leg and your like Boohoo, like you can't handle it. But it's only when I move it the wrong way, its weird, it will feel 100% all day then I move it this one way and OOooh.

SURFERMAG.COM: So you are rehabbing, walking on the beach, swimming and…
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Well…last week I was walking…I was walking a while ago on the beach, but with a brace. Then I started walking without a brace this last week and the other day I starting running on the beach, God, I never knew it felt that good to run. It felt like superman running on the beach. It felt rad. I was like trying to show off that I could run.

SURFERMAG.COM: Did you bachi, or curse yourself with the injury talk in the recent Surfer Magazine interview?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Well, I wasn't really planning to get hurt in Brazil… I'd rather get hurt when it's ten feet, I don't wanna get hurt when I'm there surfing the one foot waves, I'd rather be like, Yeah, I got hurt out at Pipe… I tell people I got hurt in Brazil and their like 'Heeeh, what the hell happened?' I guess like they say, that smaller waves are more dangerous…it's the truth.

SURFERMAG.COM: So with the down time are you spending more time editing surfing videos or…?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yeah, we were filming before I went to Brazil so we had a bunch of footage…I wasn't trying to do anything with it for a while, I was just watching a few clips, then I got really bored one day and I was like what 'em I doing, I should be focusing, watching my surfing on video and working on that. So I put together a pretty cool segment, its about four minutes of really high impact surfing…it's not any of the stuff on my video that just came out, it's all new stuff.

SURFERMAG.COM: Will we get a teaser on
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yeah, I uh, I can't wait…mind surfs a set wave…watches a bikini photo shoot take place.

SURFERMAG.COM: So when is the predicted date for you to start surfing again, even with a brace on your knee, going to make any Triple Crown appearances?
JAMIE O'BRIEN: Yeah, I'm going to surf in the Pipe Masters, that's my main goal. That's why I'm not going and trying to catch a wave today because I don't want to tweak it.

Aussie Surfer Heath Walker Suffers Horrendous Backdoor Wipeout

Aussie WQS surfer Heath Walker took a mean wipeout at Backdoor Pipeline yesterday (Monday 11/22) and was whisked away for emergency medical treatment.

"Yesterday at Off-The-Wall there was a bunch of photographers and guys were just packing closeouts," according to eyewitness Jamie O'Brien. "Unfortunately he just took off on this one and he did whatever, just pulled in and click, click, click and boom," O'Brien added.

"The thing just sucked air and he ate it and went over the falls and got really pounded and was getting held under. Looked like he hit the bottom. Then my friends in the water saw him go over the falls on the next wave, just all limp. And everyone swam and paddled over to him and as they arrived he kind of popped up," O'Brien said.

"It was more of a freak accident, could happen to anybody," O'Brien added. "I guess he broke a couple ribs, smacked his head and stuff."

Walker's condition is not known at this time. Check back for an update.– Scott Austin Hartvigsen