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Friday, 19 March 2010
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship - Previews  (Getty Images)
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship - Previews (Getty Images)

Sergio Garcia has shrugged off any injury concerns ahead of this week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship despite a hand problem limiting the Spaniard's work in the off-season.

The World Number 13 suffered a sprain to his right hand during the third round of the season-ending Dubai World Championship at the end of the November.

After finishing seventh in Dubai, Garcia further aggravated the problem by competing at the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China and was forced to take six weeks off to fully recover.

Surgery was never considered but the lay-off meant the 30 year old only returned to practise last week before kicking off the new season at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

"Fortunately my hand is much better. The doctor said if I had stopped after I did it in Dubai it would have been fixed within ten or 15 days but unfortunately I played the World Cup and I re-strained it and it took six weeks," said Garcia.

"It has been a long, slow process but it is better. For six weeks I couldn't get the clubs out. There is still a bit of a bump in there and it turned into a bit of tendinitis and I have spent two weeks every morning and afternoon with the physio.

"I am obviously still rusty but I can hit the ball. I don't feel much pain, there is a bit of pain when I start warming up when it is cold but, as it goes on, it gets better.

"It's not the perfect scenario to start my year but, as the weeks go on, I will start to get the rhythm and get some proper practice in. The doctor said if I feel a bit of pain that is fine, you can't go from pain to nothing. But it feels good and throughout my practice round today it felt good and I didn't feel anything."

Garcia endured a winless 2009 to slip down the World Rankings from Number Two after winning the 2008 HSBC Champions and recording back-to-back top ten finishes in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

"I am looking forward to the year. I hope to keep improving, to keep getting better and hopefully do some really nice things," added Garcia, who posted seven top seven finishes last year.

"But the most important thing at the moment is to make sure that the hand responds well; that I leave the injury behind. If I manage to do that, if you can play golf without thinking about the hand or any other thing that is bothering you, then it's easier to play better."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KAYMER, MartinGER18-21
2POULTER, IanENG18-20
3MCILROY, RoryNIR18-19
4LOWRY, ShaneIRL18-17
5OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-16
T6CANETE, ArielARG18-15
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