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May 21, 2014

Ian Poulter


Q.  Struggling a bit?
IAN POULTER:¬† A bit struggling.¬† A bit disappointing to, in fact, it's actually encouraging.¬† It is 2.40 on Wednesday, and I'm hitting some shots, and it's the first shot I've hit since‑‑ really since last Thursday.¬† Hit a few on Friday, and I had to stop, it was a bit too painful.¬† I guess it's a good thing that I'm actually hitting some shots right now.

Q.  And what is the exact nature of the problem?
IAN POULTER:¬† Okay.¬† I slightly overdone it in the gym Wednesday.¬† Because of that, there was just an extra load being put on my back while I was hitting balls on Thursday afternoon/Friday morning, L‑4, L‑5 and my QL has tightened up and caused muscle spasm.

Q.  Please explain, what's that in English?
IAN POULTER:¬† Just L‑4, L‑5 are obviously the bones in your lower back.¬† The good news is it is only muscle and it was the muscles that's tightened around those and no neural signs, no tingling down the legs, nothing‑‑ you know, so it was just muscle spasm and just trying to get that to release so I can hit some balls.
It's released, but it's trusting to hit a shot without getting the feeling of someone jabbing me in the back with a knife.

Q.  What are your percentage chances of playing?
IAN POULTER:  The percentages, this morning I would have said ten per cent and I've just hit some balls and I would say that percentages are now 70 per cent, and we've got, you know, nearly 24 hours before tee off.  So I've got 20 hours.  So I guess tomorrow morning, that percentage is going even higher which is really good news.
It's just disappointing, it's not the best prep for this week.¬† I haven't flown‑‑ albeit flown especially early to go to the Cup final, and I thought I would get some extra preparation done around the golf course that I haven't performed that well on in past and I haven't been able to get that prep in.
So you know, the good news is, I am hitting balls.  The good news is, there's nothing major and there's no real damage done, apart from just muscle spasm.  I'm taking all the tablets I can physically possibly take, so I might fall asleep at any second now.
The chances are, I could be teeing off tomorrow.  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.  It's important for me to play.  I think it's important to the tour that I try and play, but I have to be mindful that, you know, as long as I can't injure myself anymore, that has to take priority when thinking about teeing off tomorrow.

Q.  Well, that has to be key, doesn't it, because obviously there are big tournaments and they come thick and fast, and it's a Ryder Cup here, you've just slipped out of the qualifying.  People will look at that and say, how much of a factor is that.
IAN POULTER:  I'm aware of all of those factors, and you know, tomorrow morning, I will assess that with the guys in the physio truck, have another long session with them to loose enough.
I've got to say, very encouraging the last 48 hours transformation, and that is what muscles can do.  I mean, if they are tight and loose enough, you can get back out very quickly.  Mindful of the fact that there are some big tournaments coming up.  We've still got three Majors to go, WGC, obviously this is a key week, and there are a few events before Ryder Cup qualification which I'd like to play well in.
So I'd like to make the side.  Obviously I want to be there again, and you know, I'm doing everything I can to make sure I'm ready to play.

Q.  You're having a frustrating period at the moment.
IAN POULTER:¬† It's been a really disappointing start to the year.¬† I actually picked up a slight niggle in January, which hampered‑‑ which obviously hampered the first couple of months.¬† I didn't want to make a big deal of it, but you know, that's possibly three months of frustration there.¬† That's cleared up and gone away, which is good.¬† And now I've gone and done some more.

Q.  What was the niggle before?
IAN POULTER:  I had a slight tear in my labrum in my left shoulder.  So in your shoulder, your socket is protected by that, and I had a tiny little tear.

Q.  And you had a virus before THE PLAYERS, as well?
IAN POULTER:  And I had a virus before THE PLAYERS.  It's been one of them, one of those seasons at the minute, which is unfortunate.
But I'm a confident person.  Provided I don't do anything silly from now on in until, you know, until The Ryder Cup, and that means not overdoing it in the gym and making mistakes I guess, then I'll be just fine.
It is frustrating when you try and make progress and you try and do the right things and you try and get better for a reason, and obstacles get put in the way and you have to deal with them.
So I've dealt with them.  I've just got to be careful I guess.

Q.  Does The Ryder Cup remain uppermost at the mind, or are there other things that you concentrate on in the more short term before that?
IAN POULTER:  Uppermost thoughts in my mind at the minute are teeing off tomorrow morning.  There's three Majors, WGC, there's a lot of World Ranking points to play for before The Ryder Cup.  I'm not thinking of that.  Obviously there's four months to go, and Akron, US PGA and a push into the FedEx.  I'll be more than ready.
It's been a frustrating six months and it's been very disappointing.  As much as it's got me down, I've got to stay positive and keep going.

Q.  Is this forcing you to rethink the Ferrari?  You need a crane to get down into one of those things.
IAN POULTER:¬† I don't‑‑ I've got a 4 X 4.¬† I don't do many miles in them cars so it doesn't make any difference.

Q.  With all the gym boys getting injured, should we all be doing the Jimenez style of good food, good wine and cigars?
IAN POULTER:¬† You know what's amazing, we all want to improve and we all want to get better, and you know, you've just got to be so careful because year‑in, year‑out, we keep seeing people that get injured in the gym.¬† You know, that's a reason, because we want to improve.¬† You've just got to be so super careful when you're doing stuff and make sure when you are doing it, you're doing it safely.
Because I had left the gym alone for a couple of months after picking up the shoulder injury, I guess that switches off a lot of muscles when you don't do a lot, and then going back in, even doing something light; there was no weights involved at all.
That's the funny thing about it.  You know, just fires the muscles in a different way after they have switched off for a couple of months, and something has to compensate around that, and that's what compensated and that's what caused the spasm.

Q.  Can you just talk auto briefly about what Jiménez has achieved in the last three or four weeks?
IAN POULTER:  Well, incredible.  It's remarkable.  For him to obviously come back from a leg injury, broken leg, and to play the golf he's played, is exceptional.

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