April 20, 2008

Tiger, Daly and I...all under the knife.

Just when I thought I would have something unique for a while, both John Daly AND Tiger Woods are going under the knife at the same time...who says we donít have things in common?

Apparently, Woods has to go back for more arthroscopy on his knee cartilage. Chances are there are some chips floating around after the last surgery. For some strange reason, there are ALWAYS Ďchips floating aroundí after surgery...hundreds of professional athletes who went under the knife can attest to that.

I have to give Woods credit for sucking up the pain and soldiering on because he didnít want to risk missing the Masters. But now that his Grand Slam possibilities are out the window for another year, he can take the risk.

What impressed me is that neither he nor Daly used their injuries as an excuse, unlike someone I will not mention by name, but her initials are "Michelle Wie."

The doctors say heíll be back after a month of rehab...which is pretty good time. Knowing Tiger, he will undoubtedly come back from rehab twice as strong as before.

The other interesting case is Big John Daly, who has been going through an uncommonly bad stretch of fairway lately. If you remember, he tore his rotator cuff and dislocated some ribs when he tried to stop his swing when a camera clicked during the Honda Classic a few years ago.

Trying to stop that swing is kinda like trying to catch a grand piano dropped from the roof of a building, it ainít gonna happen and even after rehab, he was not the same but the doctors think they found the cause of the problem...a torn muscle in his stomach...yes, you read that right.

Perhaps it was the beer muscle, you know the one which expands to allow beer drinkers to hold mass quantities, also tore during the Honda Classic episode. This would cause Daly to drink less...and "Less Filling" is not Big Johnís mantra. Heís definitely a "Tastes Great" kinda guy.

The doctors said the loss of use of this muscle affected Dalyís core muscle strength and caused him to hurt himself a little more with every big swing. Core muscles (i.e., the ones you need to train through Pilates) are even more important to your stability than the outer layers.

So, Big John was also playing through the pain and to make matters worse, his favourite painkiller Ė beer Ė was unable to quench the pain as the beer muscle was atrophied. Thatís gotta suck.

Some in the blogosphere claim that Daly was actually going in for some liposuction. Personally speaking, a little lipo wouldnít hurt him any, and if Craig Stadler (aka The Walrus) went with him, theyíd need industrial size collection jars.

Could it be Daly wants to be as svelte as Tiger? Even Phil Mickelson (aka Fat Boy) was seen hitting the gym to shed a few cheeseburgers. Of course, Tigerís old teacher, Butch Harmon, most likely was the driving force behind Philís sudden urge to hit the weight bench.

When all is said and done, I donít think that surgery is gonna make a huge difference in Dalyís life. His problems are all self-made. He has an addictive personality and all the self-control of a tribe of red-assed monkeys in heat. Nevertheless, heís a good person who needs support in his public battle against his inner demons.

Now as for yours truly, I am off to Singapore for rotator cuff surgery next week and have been reliably informed that it will be 4-6 months of screaming agony before I will be playing golf again.

Heck, I just want to be able to participate in the Gannon Vietnam Open Championship and the Swing For Life in late August. If necessary, I will swing one-handed, but I have never missed either of those events and I donít plan to start now.

One reader of the column asked how to avoid rotator cuff injuries and the answer is simple... donít try to throw a 100 MPH fast ball and make sure you watch where you are walking. I remembered to avoid the first, but failed the latter, tripped off a curb and slammed my shoulder off a car fender.

Not a lot of fun at all.

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