PAUL WARING is ready to bide his time on the road to recovery – despite being a frustrated by-stander as the 2012 European Tour season unfolds.
The Wirral golfer had been hoping to make his return from a serious wrist injury in South Africa at the start of the season but opted to hold back as he continues to suffer pain when trying to play.
The Bromborough player was in London again this week to see therapist Katherine Butler as he takes a long-term view of an increasingly elongated rehabilitation from last year’s operation.
“I could have an injection,” Waring explained, “but I would rather fix it in a more holistic way. Golf is a potentially long career and I don’t want to resort to an injection too early.
“I would be very upset if I got to 30-32 and found that I could not play golf anymore.”
Waring’s woes started in June last year when he was forced to pull out of the BMW PGA championship at Wentworth after just eight holes of the first round with a shooting pain in his right arm.
An extra piece of bone at the back of his right hand was diagnosed as causing the problems and was removed in an operation which has been deemed a success.
But the recovery process has taken far longer than first envisaged and has left Waring, who turned 27 this month, needing a medical exemption to be able to resume his career. Waring is grateful for the support of Tour officials as he endeavours to pick his way through the potential pitfalls to a return which is still without a date.
The medical exemption means he keeps his Tour card so he can return to Europe’s top table when he is fit again. Once back out on the course, a more complicated mathematical equation kicks in to determine what Waring must do to retain his playing rights.
“I can’t thank the Tour enough for their understanding of the situation and they have told me to only come back when I am 100% fit, which probably means being able to play six rounds a week for four or five weeks on the spin,” the former English amateur champion explained. “When it comes to what I would need to do to keep my card it is all ifs, buts and maybes at the moment.
“Once fit again, I am not allowed to play in any warm-up tournaments, so it will be a case of re-creating as many of the tournament situations as I can during practice and then it will be straight back onto Tour.”
For the time being Waring refuses to put himself under further pressure by pencilling in a possible tournament return.
“I’ve not been given any dates as to when it might feel better,” he said. “I am not in pain in every day life and if I didn’t play golf for a living it wouldn’t be a problem.
“But it hurts in some of the very specific positions the wrist gets into playing golf. For example, at the top of the backswing there is a massive amount of leverage and that is when the pain kicks in.
“The operation has gone fine, but it is the recovery side that is taking so long. It is very frustrating.
“I don’t really feel the pain if I’m chipping a ball from 25-30 yards, but once I go to 50 yards and start clipping a couple of balls it’s a case of ‘ow!’ again.”
Waring has busied himself with a move into his new house and spending time with friends and family.
“I have coped okay,” he said. “I can’t do anything too heavy but with the help of friends have done some decorating. I will try and get out running, while I have been able to go on some short breaks, such as Tenerife for a friend’s 30th or to London with my girlfriend for my birthday.
“I’ve kept up to date with things on Tour, although I am not a big watcher of golf. But I have some good friends out there like David Horsey and Simon Dyson and we have kept in touch.
“The biggest thing I have missed is not competing. As a professional golfer it is something you do every day and I am looking forward to getting back to it.”