/ Golf

Ian Poulter cautious over back injury ahead of BMW PGA Championship

Updated: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 17:15 | Comments

Ian Poulter has fallen outside of the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup
Ian Poulter has fallen outside of the automatic qualifying places for the Ryder Cup

Ian Poulter is confident of overcoming an injury scare to play in the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday, but admits the rest of the season might have to take priority.

Poulter injured his back in the gym last week and rated his chances of being fit as low as 10 per cent on Wednesday morning, a figure he had revised to 70 per cent following treatment and hitting balls on the range by mid-afternoon.

The 38-year-old will undergo further treatment on Thursday morning ahead of his 12.40 tee-time alongside Jonas Blixt and Francesco Molinari, but is conscious of not causing any more damage with a big summer ahead.

"The chances are I could be teeing off tomorrow," said Poulter, whose fall outside the automatic qualifying places is a matter of "concern" to Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

"My expectations won't be very high, I have to say, but I'd like to play. I'm here, it is Wentworth, it's a big tournament. I think it's important to the tour that I try and play, but I have to be mindful.... as long as I can't injure myself any more, that has to take priority.

"I am mindful of the fact that there are some big tournaments coming up. We've still got three majors to go, World Golf Championship events, obviously this is a key week, and there are a few events before Ryder Cup qualification which I'd like to play well in.

"I'd like to make the side. Obviously I want to be there again and I'm doing everything I can to make sure I'm ready to play.

"The good news is it was just muscle spasm and I am just trying to get that to release so I can hit some balls. It's released, but it's about trusting to hit a shot without getting the feeling of someone jabbing me in the back with a knife."

Poulter, who inspired the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012 and finished with a 100 per cent record in Chicago, looked almost certain to make the team for Gleneagles when he finished second, fifth and second in the final three events of last season.

But he has registered just one top-five finish in 2014 and Martin Kaymer's victory in the Players Championship a fortnight ago knocked him out of the qualifying places.

"It's been a really disappointing start to the year," he admitted. "I had a shoulder problem which I didn't want to make a big deal of, then a virus before the Players and now this.

"It is frustrating when you try and make progress and you try and do the right things and get better for a reason, and obstacles get put in the way and you have to deal with them. I've just got to be careful I guess."

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