Monday 26 September 2016

Harrington faces battle of wounded knee for PGA appearance

Published 12/08/2015 | 02:30

Padraig Harrington reckons he has either torn a ligament or a cartilage in his right knee in a training session after playing tennis with his children
Padraig Harrington reckons he has either torn a ligament or a cartilage in his right knee in a training session after playing tennis with his children

Padraig Harrington is ready to risk further damage to his injured right knee in order to compete in the US PGA Championship which starts at Whistling Straits tomorrow.

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Harrington revealed that if this was a regular tournament, he would not be playing.

The 2008 champion reckons he has either torn a ligament or a cartilage in his right knee in a training session after playing tennis with his children.

He had a cortisone injection which is supposed to kill the pain for three months, and has continued an intensive treatment regime over the last few days.

Harrington is prepared to risk further damage to the knee because this is a Major he has won, and at 44 on August 31, he does not know how many more Majors he can play in and be competitive.

Asked if it is worth the effort to play, Harrington was unequivocal.

"If I had to have a crutch and a little seat to sit on between shots I'd be playing.

"As much as I would tell you that age doesn't make a difference, and I believe I have another ten years of being competitive, I'm running out of time rather than not," he said.

Harrington competed in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone last week with the injury, but refused to blame it for a six-over par result.

The short-term solution is treatment and a cortisone injection which is meant to kill pain for up to three months.

"It's probably a tear in the meniscus, or the cartilage.

"The injection was just to get rid of the pain so I could walk properly and so not do other damage.

"The downside of that is that you don't realise how much pain you are in and you then overdo things," he said.

Harrington had to withdraw in the first round of the BMW PGA championship at Wentworth in May due to a shoulder injury which did not respond well enough to treatment to allow him continue playing in the European Tour's flagship event.Apart from the injury, Harrington admits he is struggling to get comfortable with his wedges and putting.

"I am happy with my tee to green but the wedge play isn't good and putting isn't good, so those are the two areas where I have to find something," he said.

That was the reason he worked for almost 90 minutes on the putting green on Monday with renowned sports psychologist Dr Bob Rotella, who was instrumental in his three Major successes of 2007-2008.

Five balls lined up, step in, roll the putt. Step back, roll the next ball. And keep doing it, setting the balls up from different sides of the hole.

Boring, tedious stuff, but necessary. There's nothing glamorous about this side of a professional's life.

"Attitude - that's all I am working on, no technique at all. Just trying to find the right attitude, and not worry about the outcome."

Irish Independent

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