From Brian Keogh in Pittsburgh
David Howell’s injury jinx has forced him to pull out of the US Open with a wrist strain - and frostbite!
The Swindon swinger, 31, left the Pittsburgh venue early on Monday when he failed to respond to treatment for a problem with his right wrist.
Nicknamed ‘Dangerous Dave’ because he is so accident prone, Howell has not been able to play 72 holes since the Masters and has only completed seven events this year.
And he even hurst himself icing his injury - bringing out a massive black mark on his wrist.
Rolling his eyes at the huge, bruise-like mark, he said: “That’s just from the ice. Frostbite. I couldn’t even get that right."
KO'd so often with a bad back, Howell was not expecting to be laid low with a wrist strain just days before the season's second major.
He explained: “My back’s been dodgy, that’s why I’ve been off for so long, and then I was hitting balls last Sunday and strained my right wrist.
“I didn’t think I’d done anything. So I hung around and didn’t hit any balls at all until yesterday.
“I played nine holes but it didn’t feel great and I didn’t want to hit balls out of the rough. In fact it is worse now than it was before.”
A niggling back injury forced the Ryder Cup star to withdraw after just one round of the Wachovia Championship six weeks ago.
He then lasted just two holes in the Players at Sawgrass the following week and was also unable to defend his BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth.
He added: “It’s not been great, has it? My body just seems to gets injured doing anything for whatever reason. I can’t explain it, but there it is.
“I was just practicing at home at Queenwood. I wasn’t swinging it particularly well but I’d no reason to think I’d done anything particularly bad to my wrist.
“I hadn’t hit any strange shots or particularly heavy ones. But it was enough to just put me out.”
It isn’t the first time that Howell has been forced to pull out of the US Open.
Two years ago at Pinehurst, he ripped an abdominal muscle on the eve of the event taking a couple of swings with Vijay Singh's heavily- weighted practice club.
He said: “The back is recovered. I was only hitting balls because I was in the process of getting it moving again and getting some strength back in there.
“Obviously, then with the wrist, it kept me out of the gym last week which has put me back a bit as well.
“I just felt that I had to come over. I couldn’t be sat at home on Tuesday feeling that my wrist’s fine and miss the US Open. So I wanted to come over and at least be here in the hope that it might work out all right but it didn’t.
“I’ll go home, get various treatment on it. Just rest up for the week and maybe next Monday I might get back practicing again.
“That’ll be the start to my rehab from this whole period. I may be able to play in France, I may not. I’m not going to set any targets. Just put this behind me, get fully fit and get back out when I’m ready.”
Howell will still sit down in front of the TV to watch the action, despite opting not to watch the BMW PGA.
He said: “I’ll probably watch it, being a golf fan at heart.”