World No.1 Brooks Koepka says he is now 'without pain' after having a stem cell procedure on his left knee after the Tour Championship
Brooks Koepka has revealed that he spent much of last season struggling with an injury to his knee, and underwent a stem cell procedure after the Tour Championship to repair a partially torn patella tendon.
"I had some stem cell done on my knee," Brooks revealed in his press conference at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
"My patella tendon was partially torn, so just rehabbing that. Spent the first probably three, four weeks just rehabbing that and been back hitting balls. I can finally practice again, which is nice, without pain.
The World No.1, who won three times last year (including the PGA Championship), joined Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson as three of the World's top 10 to have a procedure on their knee at the end of last season, although he insists his doesn't count as surgery.
"It wasn't technically surgery; it was stem cell," he said. "Got to go in there and inject it. I was watching it on the screen as they were doing it and it was probably one of the most painful things. I was screaming when they did it.
"I limped out of there. I was limping for probably two, three days after, and then it's just about trying to grow the muscles around it. Try to get strong again, rest it. That's kind of how we went with it, doing a little rehab. The important thing was to not walk with a limp. Those three days you're kind of off your feet. And at the same time, enjoy your off-season.
"I knew I was going to do it for probably a month before FedEx. I knew. We had decided on that day because it was easy getting into Orlando and getting that done real quick and popping home and trying to rehab."
Koepka, who had been vocal about not feeling the need to practice much on tournament weeks throughout last season, revealed that much of that was actually down to his knee, and this return will mark a change going forward.
"Wrist, I mean, my wrist wasn't 100% and my knee was bugging me from about March on," he said. "Just not going to make excuses. It's nice to feel good for once.
"Last year I didn't practice at all. I mean, I vocalised that, said I hadn't practiced. I finally feel this year I can practice again. I think people forget, too, I also had a wrist injury. I was just coming back off that. I still don't know -- I've only got so many shots left.
"If I can come back and be healthy, that was the important thing. I finally feel good enough where I can actually practice and feel prepared coming into golf tournaments. Not trying to find it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll be practicing this year."
When asked if he felt 100%, he replied that he was close, and he now feels like he has added motivation now that he feels better.
"Pretty close," he said. "I mean, I can walk without pain, which is nice. If I was going downhill, I mean, I was like limping. I don't know if anybody saw that or not, but just being able to walk the golf course without pain is nice. Didn't bug me too much on the swing, but I could feel it. Was a little hesitant to get on my left side where now I've got no issue.
"You know, I've got five, six years left of probably my prime I guess you could say. I want to see how far I can take it. I'm a little extra motivated. Feeling 100% is nice, but extremely motivated to see how far I can push it."
Koepka is making his first start of the new PGA Tour season this week at TPC Summerlin, having finished third to Rory McIlroy in last season's FedEx Cup.