Just how bad is Anthony Kim’s thumb injury?
You wouldn’t know if from the way Anthony Kim was lashing at the ball for the last two weeks, but the 10th ranked player in the World Golf Rankings has a thumb injury that’s been bothering him for almost 16 months.
Given his stellar play in the final round of the Masters, coupled with his victory the week before in Houston, one would have to assume the injury isn’t hampering his game. But if Kim’s comments over the weekend are any indication the injury — what Kim called a “torn ligament in my left thumb” — is definitely something that’s on his mind.
“It’s definitely uncomfortable and something I didn’t want to talk about,” Kim said. “I’ve had plenty of injuries and they have been well documented and I don’t want another one to talk about.
“But I’ve had it for about 15, 16 months. It’s just not going away, so I have to take care of it. Now, surgery is going to be the last resort, where I’m taking some medicine and I took a cortisone shot a couple of months ago to relieve the pain, but it’s affecting my golf swing and I don’t want it to keep doing that because I’m going to get into bad habits, so for the long term I would like to get it fixed.”
The most recent problem prior to this one was a nagging shoulder that seemed to really hamper Kim’s game. But if you look back as far as June 2009 of last year, you’ll notice Kim was already talking about the thumb injury. It would appear his thumb has gotten progressively worse with the wear and tear it has sustained over the last 16 months.
He’s already rumored to be considering thumb surgery to repair the torn ligament, so the thought of him missing time at the peak of the golf season is a very distinct possibility. So far, Kim has been pretty quiet about whether he’s truly going to go through with the procedure.
“I have a great doctor,” he said, “and he’s trying to figure it out. Maybe we go to Nike and get a new glove that fits my thumb and holds it in place a little bit better. We are just trying to figure something out.”
Quite honestly, I think there’s a pretty good chance Kim will go through with the surgery. Look, he’s a young guy, and his thumb is a very important part of his game. Is it worth aggravating the injury over and over again at this point? Who knows for sure. But If you’ve ever played golf, then you know the thumb gets torqued pretty good during the swing — especially the way A.K. swings the club.
I doubt you’d be hearing about this injury if he wasn’t nearing a critical point in the decision-making process. But given how fantastic he’s been playing, I wouldn’t hold my breath on him foregoing the surgery to play in the U.S. Open and British Open, and then having the surgery later in the year. We all know he’s the kind of guy that’s willing to suck it up for a major championship.
Heck, he’s already played with the injury for over a year. One would assume there’s a point where the damage being done can’t get any worse. You have to wonder if that’s the reasoning behind Kim’s decision to play through the pain at this point.
The only drawback with playing later into the year before having the surgery is that it makes the comeback to, say, the Ryder Cup, that much more difficult. But I guess that’s a bridge Kim will have to pass if/when he decides to have the procedure.