Thumb problem casts doubt over Kim's season

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The Independent Online

Anthony Kim withdrew from The Players Championship in Florida last night because of an injured left thumb that could require surgery sooner than he anticipated.

Kim said the ligament has become detached from his thumb, an injury he has been coping with even through good times. He won the Houston Open last month, shot 65 in the final round to finish third at the Masters and tied for seventh last week at Quail Hollow.

"This injury has been well documented over the past month, and I've been doing everything I can to play through it," Kim said in a statement. "But it became more of an issue last week and needs to be looked at." The 24-year-old American said he would consult with doctors this week to figure out his next step.

Kim has said recovery would take two or three months, depending on surgery and the amount of damage. That comes at a bad time with three majors ahead and a Ryder Cup he is desperate to play in. The American is No 2 in the standings, although the points list is more fluid this year.

Going into last week, Kim said he had been told the thumb cannot get worse from more play. "In golf, there's not really a good time to take time off," Kim said then.

Kim is No 11 in the world and becomes the second highly rated player to pull out of The Players Championship, which some consider the biggest event behind the majors.

Steve Stricker, No 3 in the world, withdrew on Monday because of continued soreness in his right shoulder.

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