Jason Day faces a full health assessment before he can be cleared to play in Australia this summer.
Jason Day’s need for an extensive rehabilitation program could put his place at this year’s Australian Open in jeopardy.
Day finished his US PGA Tour season at the Tour Championship in a tie for fourth despite carrying a back complaint and still feeling ill-affects from a season-long thumb problem.
The Queenslander’s year was punctuated by injury and illness, making his 10th place finish in the season-long points list despite having just 15 starts, two of which he withdrew mid-tournament.
Day’s new trainer of the last six weeks, South African Cornel Driessen, has pinpointed several issues with the 26-year-old’s body that need attention, meaning Day could be out of competitive golf for the next three months.
It is expected Day will get a few scans and checks over the next week to fully ascertain if an extended break is warranted.
“This off-season is very crucial for me just to make sure that the back, the thumb and my hips are all progressing the way I want them to be, especially for next season,” Day said.
“It’s been a pain in the butt this year. I’ve got a bulged disk in my back right now that has been there for a while and that’s been very painful through the last couple of weeks, plus obviously a thumb issue that took me out for three and a half months.
“To be able to get some time off, really try and get some rehab on my back, on my thumb and try and move it in the right direction will take a lot of stress off my shoulders.”
Day is aware Australian fans will be disappointed if he cannot make the trip to the Australian Open in November but hopes they would understand.
“I’m just trying to get healthy. I just want a healthy year where I can practice hard and get ready for tournaments and try and play the best I can without worrying about injuries in the back of my mind,” he said.
“I’m very encouraged with how I played this year with just 15 starts but I’m very motivated to do whatever (Driessen) needs me to do to get better for next season and really try and get to that No.1 spot in the world.
I feel like I’ve got the tools to get there. I just need to make sure that the body is right for me to win a lot more and achieve that goal.