Brooks Koepka has revealed he will be playing in The Masters with his knee still broken.
The 30-year-old American underwent surgery on March 16 to repair a dislocation and ligament damage to his right knee, but turned up at Augusta National on Sunday to the surprise of many observers.
World No 11 Koepka continued to practise at the course on Tuesday when he revealed he will defy the pain barrier to compete with a form of internal brace fitted and his knee still broken.
“There’s like an internal brace they put in there right where the screw is,” he said. “I don’t even know if it’s a screw. I don’t even know exactly what it is. It’s probably the most sensitive part of the knee, the kneecap. They had to put it there just because it’s still broken.”
Koepka admits walking downhill around the undulating course is causing him problems, as is bending down to pick up his ball.
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He added: “It [walking downhill] puts all the pressure on the patella. It’s going to hurt downhill.
“I can’t bend down. My knee doesn’t go. I mean, that’s the most stress you’re going to have on your patella. I don’t have that much motion in my knee.
“Prone I can get it to about 90 degrees and that’s about it. But getting down, it’s going to look funny, I know that. But what are you going to do?”
Koepka is due to tee off at 10.06am on Thursday in the opening round, which is likely to mean an early start for him in order to undergo some physiotherapy first.
“It took about three hours this morning just to get going, and I didn’t finish last night until about 12:30 or so,” he said.
“I told everybody, the whole rehab process is all mental. Two days after trying to go around on a bike, you know your knee can actually do it, it’s just whether you allow it to do it.
“All the connectors from your brain to everything, so you’ve just got to push yourself, and it’s painful at times. The rehab was strenuous, but I’ll be all right.”
Four-time major winner Koepka, who won the Phoenix Open in February, has finished in the top 10 in the last two Masters and, despite his knee issues, he insists he is happy with the state of his game
He said: “Game feels fine. Game is good. Playing good. I like how I’m swinging it. Everything should be fine.”
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