May8 Roseinjurysetback

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Justin Rose’s injury woes continue: the young Englishman hasn’t played a tournament since going so close to major glory at last month’s US Masters and has again been ruled out of this week’s prestigious Players’ Championship at Sawgrass.

Rose, currently lying 27th in the World Rankings, is still nursing a niggling back problem which just won’t go away. In fact he’s this week seeing a back specialist here in the UK in the hope of finding a solution and getting back on course as soon as possible.

It is clearly a worrying time for Rose who ironically had been in the form of his life having strung together some impressive outings on the US PGA Tour as well as capturing this season’s MasterCard Masters in Australia and his plucky Augusta performance which only saw him miss out on the coveted Green Jacket in the closing stages of the final round.

However, Rose is looking on the bright side and is determined to be a starter for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 24-27.  He confirmed: “I’m returning to Britain to receive treatment for my back condition and I called George O’Grady, the Tour’s Chief Executive, to let him know that I planned to enter the BMW.

“I’ m feeling very positive that my back injury will continue to improve at the same rate so that I am able to play. I was delighted to win again on the European Tour this season and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to win the BMW PGA Championship which is our flagship event.

“It will be good to play the West Course again and I’ve been told about the changes made by Ernie Els so I know it will be a challenging examination, especially with such a great field of players lined up.

“I’ve been climbing the World Rankings this season and winning the BMW would lift me close to the top ten, which is obviously a target – along with the US Open and Open Championship – in the next few months.”

Another Englishman in the wars is Ryder Cup hero David Howell who has been laid low by a lower back problem which forced him to withdraw from last week’s Wachovia Championship after just one round.

Revealed Howell: “I wasn’t comfortable during the first round in Charlotte and couldn’t risk aggravating the problem with my lower back so reluctantly decided to withdraw. Hopefully the inflammation will have gone down enough to allow me to play in this week’s Players’ Championship.  It’s one of the biggest events of the year and I’d hate to miss it.”

Howell has been underdoing constant physiotherapy but even so only has a 50/50 chance of lining up at Sawgrass.

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