POORTMAN was washed onto a daggerboard on the leg three crossing from Melbourne, Australia to Wellington, New Zealand and fractured his coccyx, but while it was initially thought he would only miss the trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a recent visit to hospital in the Netherlands revealed he also cracked a vertebrae further up his spine, ruling him out of leg five.
The Dutchman will now have further tests in the Netherlands when the boats head off to sea again, but he expects to be back onboard by the Baltimore In Port race.
'When we left Melbourne we thought it was just going to be the tailbone and I'd be out for one leg,' POORTMAN, 28, said. 'But we went back to Holland to a sport doctor's and they found out there's a tiny corner cracked off my vertebrae.
'It's not a major other than it needs to heal. You don't want to go to sea with a broken back. You have to think about your future. Normally it takes six weeks to heal, but because of everything we have to do I'd need ten.'
POORTMAN is now likely to be replaced by Lucas BRUN (BRA), the 22 year old Brazilian sailor who took his place when the injury was first diagnosed in New Zealand, but he expects to be declared fit for the Baltimore In Port race and leg six.
He is now back at work tuning the yacht's rigging, and while frustrated that he cannot take part in the immediate future, he is relieved the injury is not as bad as it might have been.
'It's pretty frustrating, especially when you are here, but there's nothing I can do about it,' the former Admiral's Cup winner said. 'My attitude is I'm lucky to be here walking around because if I'd fallen the wrong way I could have been paralysed and in a wheelchair for the rest of my life.
'For the rest of my life I will be disappointed that I missed the legs, but there's not a lot I can do about it.
'Those boats are tough enough as it is, you don't want to be sailing with a broken back.'Overall Leaderboard
|1||ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||49|
|2||ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastien JOSSE (FRA)||35|
|3||Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||30.5|
|4||movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||28|
|5||Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||26.5|
|6||Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||21|
|7||ING Real Estate Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||11.5|
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