LAS VEGAS – Brooks Koepka believes his hip and knee injury concerns are past him as he gets set to return at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK after a two-month break.
Koepka revealed he once again had stem cell therapy injections in his left knee during his time off to help repair a partially torn patella tendon and also had a cortisone injection in his hip after he partially tore his labrum during the PGA Championship.
The two-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year missed the FedExCup Playoffs and U.S. Open while rehabilitating. This week is his first start of the new 2020-21 season. His knee had been bothering him on and off for over a year.
A year ago at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Koepka revealed the painful stem cell treatment he’d undergone on his left knee in 2019 to get back to full strength. Unfortunately he then slipped on wet concrete at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in South Korea soon after, re-injuring the tendon.
While he tried to manage the issue his left hip took on extra load as he was unable to shift his weight correctly to his left side. That’s how he tore the labrum. That happened at the PGA Championship in August where he received treatment mid-round on Friday. Despite being in contention with a round to play, a Sunday 74 sent the four-time major winner scuttling down the leaderboard.
While he went to great lengths not to use the injuries as excuses throughout 2020, it took a runner-up finish at the World Golf Championships–FedEx St. Jude Invitational in August to even secure a place in the Playoffs. Now he admits “it’s the whole reason I played like crap,” but is confident the troubles are behind him.
“I’ve got my body squared away, feels a lot better. I didn’t know how bad I felt until I actually feel good. It’s nice to be back,” Koepka said ahead of playing at Shadow Creek this week.
“Memorial (July) was kind of its peak of when it was its worst, and then at the PGA it didn’t feel great. Obviously just progressively kept getting worse. I did another round of PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy about three weeks ago on my knee and then I had a shot in my hip at Boston. It’s just all about trying to make sure everything’s good. I spent basically the last month out in San Diego doing rehab every day and just trying to get better.”
While he is talking a positive game the 30-year-old knows he’s not totally out of the woods if the hip issue becomes more serious.
“It’s not a full tear, but there’s definitely a tear there. If cortisone doesn’t work and it actually gets worse, it will be surgery and you’re out for nine months,” he explained. “But everything feels good. We’re doing all of the strengthening in all of the right places. It’s the best I’ve truly felt in so long, I didn’t realize last year how limited I was from swinging. I really do feel great right now.”
He feels so great that he’s not interested in talk he should be happy just easing himself back into competition. This despite the fact he first started full swings again just 10 days ago.
“Winning (is the goal). I know physically I’ll be able to walk four rounds and have no issue with it,” he said bluntly. “From there, it’s just go out and win.”