Jeev Milkha Singh will battle through the pain of a finger injury in 36-hole US Open qualifying on late Monday night before having an injection 24 hours later in a bid to finally cure the recurring problem. The 41-year-old Indian,four times a champion on the European Tour,originally hurt his right index finger while winning the Scottish Open in July. Singh was struggling on 12-over-par when he was forced to withdraw midway through the second round of this week’s PGA Championship at Wentworth. He said he had tried everything in the last 10 months to rid himself of the pain he is suffering and hopes the procedure he plans at a Leeds hospital on Tuesday will enable him to return to a normal playing and practice routine.
“On Friday I hit a shot on the 11th hole when I came in steep to the ball and the finger started hurting,” Singh told Reuters in an interview at the European Tour’s flagship event. “The day before on the driving range the same thing happened,I came in a little steep,the hand swelled up and the ligaments stretched. Every time I touch the ground or hit punch shots,it flares up. “I need to have this injection because it’s the only way it’s going to get better. I’ve tried everything and nothing’s worked but I’ve spoken to a lot of people and they said this is the best way forward.” Singh is bracing himself to go through extreme agony for around four days immediately after having the dextrose injection and will not be able to touch a golf club for 10 days. “There’s already inflammation in the finger and this procedure brings even more inflammation before the body starts reacting to that area and starts fixing it,” said the twice former Asian Tour number one. “That’s what we are trying to do and hopefully it will be a long-term fix.”
If Singh can get through 36 holes of US Open qualifying at Walton Heath on the outskirts of London on Monday,he believes the time scale for recovery will allow him to return to competition in time for the second major of the year in Pennsylvania that starts on June 13. “I won’t have touched a club for two weeks and I know that’s not the best way to prepare for a major but I want to go ahead and get this done,” he said. “Then after the US Open the plan is to start playing regularly again. I should really have had this done in August,I’ve left it a bit late but I’ve always thought,’Let the body heal on its own’ and the last resort should be an injection. “It’s an old fashioned way of thinking I know but I’ve taken eight weeks off,I’ve taken six weeks off and it didn’t work. My doctor said I should take four months off but that isn’t in my dictionary,” added Singh,who was the first Indian to qualify to play on the European Tour.
“I’ve eased back on practice big-time in the past 10 months but I couldn’t take that amount of time off and I guess I’ve paid the price for not listening to my doctor.” Singh,who in 2007 became the first Indian to compete in the US Masters,is apprehensive about the immediate aftermath following the procedure. “I’m not looking forward to the pain for the first four days after,” he winced.
“The doctors said that if I feel one degree of pain now,after the injection it’s going to be like I feel 10 degrees of pain. “They said I’d better be prepared for that but I want to get this done,get back to my old swing and then start getting back in the winner’s circle again.”