September 20, 2011
Weir starts long road back
By IAN HUTCHINSON, QMI Agency
He seems to be an obvious resource, but don’t bother asking Mike Weir for any insight into who’s going to win the FedEx Cup later this week.
“I can’t even really bring myself to watch any golf right now,” said the 2003 Masters champ. “I don’t feel like it because it just gets me fired up and I want to grab a club and get out there.”
That would be a big mistake for Weir, who underwent surgery on the extensor tendon in his right elbow a little more than a month ago following a season in which he made just two cuts in 15 events before withdrawing from the RBC Canadian Open in Vancouver.
For the second consecutive season, Weir is sitting out the latter part of the season. There will be no Presidents Cup for a guy who was an International team fixture in the last five of those events, including his memorable 2007 performance at Royal Montreal, when he defeated Tiger Woods in singles.
The mind is willing, even if the body isn’t just yet. Keeping the two in balance won’t be an easy task while sitting at home contemplating yet another chapter in his career, which he still feels will have a happy ending.
“The last year and a half has been very difficult. It’s like anything. If it was easy to excel at something, everybody would do it. The game’s hard, it’s a tough game,” said a hopeful but realistic Weir.
“I think going through this now, it’s going to be a big challenge to get back, but I’m ready for it and I think it will make it sweeter when I do get back there because I’ve got my work cut out for me, no question, but I’m still motivated and ready to tackle it,” he added.
It will be a long road back at the age of 41 for Weir, who had a cast removed about a week-and-a-half ago. He’ll soon start rehab with tubing and light weights, but he doesn’t expect to be swinging a club until at least November, with hopes of getting in a couple of tournaments before next year’s Masters.
“When I came out of surgery, I did ask (Dr. James Andrews) what he thought. He said there was quite a bit more damage in there than what MRIs and ultrasounds showed, so it was a good thing I had it done,” said Weir.
“I just went back this past Thursday and Friday and he said he couldn’t be more pleased with the way it’s going so far. I’m already getting a good range of motion in there and the physical therapist there that he works with closely has me on a pretty good program,” he said.
The problem turned out to be a tendon, as opposed to a ligament, that had torn away almost completely from the bone. While Weir doesn’t blame the injury entirely for his disappointing results the past couple of seasons, he does believe it was a factor.
“I believe that it did cause me just to be hesitant is the best way to say it. That probably led to some incidents where I was not only hesitant in my golf swing, I was questioning myself,” he said, hoping that his physical problems are at an end once he clears this hurdle.
“The way he explained it to me is when you have a tear that pulls off the bone like that is that they take away the dead tissue and there was a hole in the tendon. They kind of shave all that stuff off and then they reattach the healthy tissue to the bone,” said Weir.
“So, once it’s healed, the way he explained it to me, is I have healthy tissue now attached to the bone, so it should be good and strong now,” he said.
There are other issues to face for Weir, including his swing. He has been talking with Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett, the gurus of stack and tilt, but he says he has made no firm decision on who will be his coach, preferring instead to seek the advice of other players he respects on that matter.
His confidence will certainly determine his future as an entire country dissects his results, speculates on possible retirement and drops him into the fishbowl. In the end, what he decides, and who he wants to listen to, is all that matters.
“I get a lot of notes and letters from people, very encouraging, which is great. I’ve got great friends that believe in me too, so that’s always great to hear from them and hear them trying to encourage me to get back,” he said.