Donald confident wrist will hold up

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The Independent Online

Luke Donald insists he is fit and ready to compete in tomorrow's WGC CA Championship at Doral, despite the injury that has hampered his start to the season. Donald, who missed the second half of last season following surgery on his left wrist in August, thought he had caused further damage when he felt weakness during his WGC Match Play quarter-final with Ernie Els 10 days ago in Arizona.

The Ryder Cup player immediately conceded the match with one hole to play and flew to New York where his surgeon, Dr Andrew Weiland, determined the discomfort and weakness was due to scar tissue irritation rather than the repaired tendon.

Donald skipped last week's Honda Classic but said yesterday: "I wouldn't play this week if I didn't think I was ready. In fact, the doctor and my physio think it's better to kind of work it through. I guess scar tissue, once it irritates, sits at a funny angle and the more you work it and get it back in, it sits in a stronger position. So I feel good about competing this week and I wouldn't play here if I didn't think I had a chance to come here and compete and win."

Donald admitted he had feared the worst: "I was thinking 'What kind of office job can I do now?' but everything worked out fine, just some scar tissue irritation."

Having had his US Open challenge cut short by the injury last year and then missing The Open, USPGA Championship and Ryder Cup, the 31-year-old is looking forward to gearing up for The Masters at Augusta next month.

"That was another thing, 'Am I going to miss more majors?'" Donald said, referring to his scare at the Match Play. "It's been a while since my last major."

Walking off at Torrey Pines, the site of last year's US Open, Donald said there had been no indication his wrist problems were to be the start of a long lay-off. "I had no idea," he said. "I knew it didn't feel very good and actually, my original diagnosis was more tendinitis. Then I got a second opinion and that was when I found out I had a pretty significant tear that needed to be operated on.

"Things cross your mind because you never know what's going to happen but I didn't think I'd be sitting out a whole year."

Meanwhile, the European Open champion Ross Fisher, who two weeks ago reached the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play, has joined Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management. The 28-year-old Englishman has climbed to No 27 in the world on the back of some impressive performances. "They have done an outstanding job for Graeme McDowell since he signed with the company just over a year ago and it has clearly shown in his results," Fisher said.

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