Paul McGinley breathed a sigh of relief last night after avoiding an eighth knee operation and opting for a revolutionary treatment that’s worked wonders for Premiership soccer stars.
The 44-year old Dubliner feared that a planned operation to clear up cartilage damage in his right knee would have to be brought forward after he was forced to pull out of the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia following an opening 81.
But knee specialist Mr Andrew Unwin, a doctor who has worked with Arsenal Football Club, told McGinley on Friday that he was reluctant to put him under the knife again and recommended an alternative treatment involving a series of injections.
The regenerative treatment, which has proved a huge success with injured footballers, involves injecting a substance containing the patient’s own blood.
“To be honest, I’m delighted not to have to undergo surgery,” McGinley said after consulting his specialist on his return to London. “After seven operations, I know too well how difficult the rehab process can be. It’s amazing how quickly your muscles waste when you’re inactive after surgery.
“In truth, I haven’t played a lick since my last operation 18 months ago. Hopefully this new treatment will do the trick, though first we have to clear the procedure with the powers that be in golf.
“It shouldn’t be a problem as soccer players have been cleared officially to receive these injections and the rules governing the treatment of professional sportsmen are pretty much universal.”
McGinley was already planning to have surgery on his right knee next month but feared that he would need urgent surgery when it swelled up during his first round of the Iskandar Johor Open, his final event in what has been another disappointing season.
Forced to withdraw from the Andalucia Masters with a wrist injury just three weeks ago, he recovered in time to head out out Asia for his last two events of the year but missed the cut in Singapore before his latest reverse.
Down to 467th in the world from a high of 18th six years ago, he had the worst season of his career last term when he finished 123rd in the money list after undergoing his seventh knee operation the previous winter.
This year he’s 147th and while he had a best result of sixth in the KLM Open in September and captained Great Britain and Ireland to a successful defence of the Vivendi Seve Trophy the following week, he will again be forced to rely on his exemption as one of the tour’s Top 40 career money winners to ensure starts next season.
“I’m falling apart,” he joked when explainging that his wrist had also given him problems in Malaysia.
Rest is all that is required to solve that problem but his knee issues are more serious and he is keeping his fingers crossed that this revolutionary treatment will allow him to come out with all gns blazing in 2012.