Padraig Harrington's injury woe

First it was Rory McIlroy injured playing football and now fellow PGA Championship winner Pádraig Harrington fears injuring his knee playing tennis could see him miss next week’s championship at Whistling Straits.

Padraig Harrington's injury woe

In fact, Harrington will be lucky to take his place in the closing weekend rounds of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational here in Akron, Ohio as he battles with the injury sustained two weeks ago playing tennis with his children.

Harrington is clearly in discomfort walking with his right leg stiff and was heading straight for a lengthy session with the on-site physio staff following his second successive score of 72 for a four over par tally.

“I am really struggling and don’t know if I can make it through the next two rounds so we’ll see, we’ll see,” he said.

“I am okay swinging the club but then late in my round today I definitely wasn’t loading my swing the right way and the knee was affecting me.

“So I am not 100% sure and it will depend on how I feeling in the morning but then in the bigger picture I am also concerned about next week’s PGA Championship.”

Without the benefit of an MRI, Harrington’s been informed he has sustained cartilage damage and while the knee is structurally sound it is a scenario where he had to keep icing the knee, and continuing to take prescribed anti-inflammatories.

“Ideally, I should be taking three weeks rest but I can’t do that this time of the year so I am staring at possibly an injection and plenty of rehab,” he added.

“I was playing tennis with my children and not doing anything foolish like jumping the net, and it happened two weeks ago but then I irritated it a week ago so I came here with the knee a little unstable.

No such problems for fellow Irishman Graeme McDowell sharing second place late in the day of the $9.25m (€8.4m) event despite a round of one over par 71 and dropping back to three under par.

McDowell could be headed for his best finish all season and at best, a first victory since capturing last year’s French Open. And if so, it would see the current World No. 60 ending his season adopting ‘Plan A’ rather than having to settle with ‘Plan B’.

“Plan A is the FedEx Cup Play-Offs and B is no Play-Offs and play more back in Europe, and maybe a bit of the Fall Series to start the ‘15/’16 PGA Tour season but I would rather it be Plan A,” he said.

And while McIlroy continues to tease the golfing establishment despite the PGA of America releasing the groupings for next week’s season-ending Major, McDowell believes the World No. 1 will only tee-up at Whistling Straits if he feels he’s ready. “Rory certainly looks as though he could play next week but it is then such a hike around that golf course,” said McDowell.

“Whistling Straits as far as demanding walks go, it is right up there. There’s potholes and side slopes. It’s a tough walk. But then Rory’s a fit kid.He’ll come back when he’s ready.

“But certainly, his golf swing looks all right.”

Also at three-under par is Shane Lowry who had played nine holes of his second round and chasing American Jim Furyk who shot a 66 to move well clear of the field at eight-under par.

Meanwhile, Niall Turner remains on course to win the Northern Ireland Open as he begins this morning’s third round at Galgorm tied for second and just one stroke behind Spaniard Emilio Cuartero Blanco.

The Muskerry man, who has just returned from a lengthy injury lay-off, carded a five-under par 66 yesterday in a round that included four birdies as well as a stunning eagle three on the ninth – although a bogey on 11 ultimately cost him a joint-share of the clubhouse lead.

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