Golf Australia

AUDIO: Injury threatens Fraser's career

Marcus Fraser
Marcus Fraser during the Rocco Forte Open last week.

Marcus Fraser’s playing future has been jeopardised by a severe case of tennis elbow.

Fraser told Radio RSN’s Breakfast Club this morning that he had been unable to lift a club for 10 weeks with both elbows in great pain.

The Olympian returned to the European Tour last week and remarkably shared fifth with fellow Aussie Jason Scrivener in the Rocco Forte Open in Sicily.

But he confessed this morning that his form had been a huge shock after he’d turned to cortisone injections to be able to lift a club.

“I wasn’t really too sure what was going to happen last week – I had almost two and a half months off, I had some dramas with my elbows,” Fraser said.

“I had tennis elbow in both. I’ve been trying to get that sorted out (and) I had some cortisone just before I left to try to calm it down and get back to playing.

“I practised about 5-6 days out and really had no idea what was going to happen. I hadn’t touched a club for 10 weeks and picked ‘em up and somehow, I don’t know what happened, but I fluked it and actually played all right. It was nice.”

Fraser said he only played last week because he was trying to find a groove before the European Tour’s flagship BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, England, this week.

“The whole idea of playing last week was having a hitout before Wentworth and luckily enough I had a pretty good week,” the Corowa product said.

“I haven’t really put much time into it and … sometimes that can work in your favour.

“But I couldn’t actually take the club away, the weight of the club … as anyone who’s had tennis elbow will tell you … that any time you (apply) grip pressure or you use your arms that way and flex your elbow, it’s very painful.

“I had two courses of plasma injections, but it didn’t really get it to anywhere near where I felt I could go back and play. I couldn’t even take the club away (on the backswing).

“So we decided to try cortisone and put it in both elbows and try to calm it down. It feels like you’ve cured it in week one, but then last week it felt like it started to come back again.”

The multiple European Tour event winner said surgery hadn’t been ruled out, but he’d also consider the stage of his career in making any key decisions.

“I’m going to play these three weeks, come home for two and then play another four weeks,” he said.

“I’ll have another jab to get me through those four weeks hopefully and if it doesn’t calm down after that time, I’ll maybe reassess, maybe shut it down and have surgery and get it fixed properly.

“But I’ll be 39 in just over a month and I’ve gotta start thinking about how much longer I can do this – every year’s pretty important when you get to this age – and I’ve gotta be smarter moving forward.”

Fraser’s world ranking has been as high as No.51 in 2013 after he overcame delicate neck surgery in 2011. He returned to No.56 after his win in the Maybank Malaysian Championship early last year and shot an Olympic record 63 to start his Games campaign in Rio where he finished a more than creditable fifth.

But after some top-10 finishes in Asia late in 2016 and a tie for third at the Victorian PGA Championship to start 2017, Fraser had played only four times since and made just one cut before last week’s effort in Italy.

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