Devon

Devon surfer injured again in big wave wipe-out

Andrew Cotton Image copyright Andrew Cotton
Image caption Andrew Cotton faces another lengthy spell out of the water after damaging his right knee

A big wave surfer who broke his back in a massive accident last year has been seriously injured in another wipe-out.

Andrew Cotton, 39, was competing in the Punta Galea challenge, an event near Bilbao, Spain, on Sunday when his back leg was hit by a wave.

The cruciate ligament in his right knee has torn, which could take six months to heal.

He said: "It's like being hit by a lorry, and you can't train for that."

Posting a picture on social media, he said: "What can I say, you gotta pay to play. Absolutely gutted to get injured in the @puntagaleachallenge yesterday, this wave landed on my back leg and lit me up pretty intensely."

Last year he was named "worst wipe-out of the year" after coming off a 60ft (18m) wave in Portugal.

Mr Cotton, from Braunton, spent seven months out of action before returning to the water in June.

He underwent extensive rehabilitation at a clinic in Manchester, and has returned there following this latest setback.

He estimates he was under water for about 25 seconds, before lifeguards pulled him to safety.

He said: "I don't think people understand the force of being hit by that amount of water. It's like being hit by a lorry, and you can't train for that."

"It's gutting. It felt like it was all going so well and I was getting stronger and looking to peak in the second half of the season."

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