Reigning Nutri-Grain IronMan Series Champion Kendrick Louis has been ruled out of the opening weekend of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series due to start at Kingscliff, NSW this Friday, 12 February.

The 30-year-old sustained a calf tear which will see him sit out of the first three rounds, with the Manly star hopeful of a round four comeback two weeks later.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had to pull out of the first three rounds, I’ve got a grade two tear in my right calf,” Louis said.

“I’ve been working hard with my physios, and sports doctors to try and get it right for this first round. So unfortunately, I’ll miss the first three rounds, just to ensure I don’t cause any more damage.

“I hate putting my foot on the line when I’m not 100% so the decision is not ideal, and I’m gutted, but at the end of the day I’ve got to look after my body and fingers crossed I can be back for rounds four, five and six,” he said.

Louis will continue working with his physio over the next fortnight, hopeful of a Series return in Round Four again in Kingscliff, from February 26-28.

“The next two weeks I’ll be seeing the physio a lot, just ensuring that we are going in the right direction,” Louis said.

“And if it’s right the week of those next rounds, I’ll put my foot on the line. In saying that, I’ve just got to take it day by day,” he said.

With the defending champion ruled out, he’ll have a close watch on the competition, and is expecting some tight racing.

“Rounds one, two and three are going to be interesting. With the Enduro format up front and then those next two rounds – it’s going to be super fast racing and recovery is going to be absolutely key,” Louis said.

“Experience will play a huge part – my pick in the men’s will be that Matt Poole, Ali Day, Matt Bevilacqua combo and I’d put Cory Taylor up there too.

“But I also think the women’s is going to be super exciting – you could probably throw a blanket over the top eight,” he said.

The Manly LSC star said that although he’s devastated he won’t be racing, he’s excited to watch the Series live on Channel 9.

“I’d love to be there racing, and I’ll suffer serious fear of missing out, but I’ll be glued to the TV all weekend watching it,” Louis said.

Surfers’ Paradise’s Nathan Gray will replace Kendrick this weekend for the opening three rounds of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series.

For further information about the Nutri-Grain Series, please click here.

To see the full list of male and female competitors in the Nutri-Grain Series click here.

The first rounds of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series will take place across the 12-14 February and will be broadcast LIVE on Channel 9GO! from 12pm-2pm nationally.

The remaining three rounds will take place across 26-28 February with round four (26 Feb) LIVE on Channel 9GO! from 12pm-2pm nationally and rounds five and six LIVE on Channel 9 from 12pm-2pm nationally.