VILAMOURA, Portugal -- England's Ross Fisher overcame an injury scare to move a step closer to his fifth European Tour title on Friday.
The 31-year-old slipped while walking off the first tee when he resumed play at the Portugal Masters and feared for a while he might have to withdraw.
But after a trainer was called for and strapping applied to his left foot, Fisher battled on and -- thanks in large part to a 22-foot eagle putt on the long 17th -- added a 67 to his opening 65.
"I didn't think anything of it at first and for two or three holes it was okay, but then it started to get really sore," he said. "The physio told me I was not doing any damage by playing on. It was uncomfortable for a while, I was feeling it again at the end and I'm just very relieved to get through.
"To be leading is very, very pleasing. It was really difficult to get through the ball and it made it quite challenging to pick the right club," he added. "My balance was not very good, but I tried to grind it out and fortunately I came through with a decent score."
On 10 under par at halfway, Fisher leads by three over his first-round co-leader Stephen Gallacher of Scotland and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Gallacher, yet to have a bogey, is seeking only his second victory in nearly 400 European Tour events, but Wiesberger already has two this season.
Fisher last tasted success at the Irish Open two years ago, a victory that helped to secure him a Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor. Since partnering Padraig Harrington to two wins against the Americans, however, he has managed only one top-five finish and finds himself down at 140th in the world.