Harrington adds to Monty woes

Colin Montgomerie must be wondering what next for the players he hopes will win back the Ryder Cup in October.

Colin Montgomerie must be wondering what next for the players he hopes will win back the Ryder Cup in October.

Martin Kaymer broke toes go-karting last August, Ian Poulter injured his knee playing basketball and now Padraig Harrington is going into hospital after tearing a cartilage during a football match.

All three, though, are in the field for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth starting tomorrow – providing, that is, Poulter does not suffer a recurrence of the neck problem which has been his latest worry.

Harrington’s injury was suffered over Christmas, but the surgery will take place on Tuesday so that he can recover in time for next month’s US Open.

What that does mean, however, is that he has pulled out of the Wales Open from June 3-6 and joined a long list of top names who are not going to play, as Montgomerie wanted them to, on the course where the Americans will defend the trophy in less than five months.

“We do these things and I tore some cartilage in my knee,” said the Dubliner. “I had an MRI a couple of months back and went back and had one last week as well.

“Basically, there’s a bit of floating stuff around in there and they want to take it out before it causes me any problems.

“I wouldn’t be getting it done if I thought there was going to be a complication for the US Open. It’s obviously key-hole surgery and they can get you back out in pretty quick time now.”

His plan is to return in Memphis the week before the second major of the season at Pebble Beach.

“It’s my right knee, so I’m not so dependent on it playing golf, but I wait until the end of the year the doctor feels that it could cause some arthritic problems.

“If I can have it cleared up now it reduces the chance of arthritis, for a number of years anyway. I had a lot of pain for the first number of weeks through Christmas and that inhibited my ability to train. It didn’t affect my golf except that I struggle to squat down to read putts.

“In fairness to the doctor, he would have done it before The Masters if it was up to him.”

Poulter’s basketball injury came after The Masters, but he returned at The Players Championship two weeks ago.

On flying back to Europe, though, he suffered the recurrence of a neck strain which has been bothering him on and off for two or three months.

“It’s been looked at and they can’t find any structural problem, but it appears to go into spasm after sleep,” said manager Paul Dunkley.

“A physio came and cricked it and that’s given Ian full movement, but he’ll keep having it massaged. I don’t think there’s any doubt about him playing on Thursday.”

Poulter is another missing Celtic Manor.

“I would like to be there, but it just doesn’t fit into my schedule,” he said. “It’s all about schedule – I can’t take any tournament out and still play my 15 in the States. If I did I’d be in breach.

“It’s not a course I don’t know. Twelve of the holes for the Ryder Cup we played when I won the (2003) Wales Open.

“I’ve got to learn six holes. For my first two Ryder Cups I’d not seen either course until the week of the match.”

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