Snedeker taking medication to boost bone mass in his troublesome ribs

Brandt Snedeker
Getty Images
Brandt Snedeker, at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, now has to travel with freezer packs in his luggage to carry the medicine he takes each night for his rib problem.
By
Teresa M. Walker
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Wednesday, June 05, 2013 | 10:34 p.m.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Brandt Snedeker is taking medication he injects into his stomach every night trying to increase the bone mass in his troublesome ribs that kept him from playing competitive golf earlier this year for about a month.

Snedeker said Wednesday he checked with PGA Tour officials once his doctor recommended the osteoporosis medication Forteo, which is approved for use.

''It's just a rare thing that I have,'' Snedeker said at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. ''It's just a weird thing I've got to deal with ... It's like taking an insulin shot and taking it every day. I have to travel with it. I've got to keep it refrigerated. It's probably the biggest pain of my life keeping it ... refrigerated all the time.''

Snedeker started the year by finishing second to Tiger Woods in San Diego and second to Phil Mickelson in Phoenix before winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February to reach his highest career ranking at No. 4 in the world. Then his ribs kept him out of golf for a month.

A different rib injury kept him out of the U.S. Open last year.

So Snedeker went through a battery of tests, more than he ever wants to go through again, back home in Nashville. Now Snedeker is hoping the medication will help a condition that also has limited how much he has been able to practice over the past two years.

''It's hopefully long-term effects can regrow some of my bone, specifically in my rib cage where they're very, very brittle comparatively speaking to the rest of my bones,'' Snedeker said. ''So they feel like this can maybe increase my bone mass 20 to 30 percent, which would get me back to a normal level if I have success with it. So hopefully it will have the same effect on me.''

Traveling with the medication has been relatively easy. Snedeker said he uses freezer packs with the medicine in his luggage, and the packs last up to 11 hours. But he plans to play in the British Open in July and the lengthy trip poses a different challenge.

''We're working on that as we speak,'' Snedeker said. ''So that will be the first problem I see arising.''

Snedeker said he checked repeatedly with PGA Tour officials to make sure the medication was approved for use to avoid any complications.

''I'm getting ready to get tested here shortly too, so you'll have evidence here next week,'' Snedeker said.

Snedeker currently ranks third on the money list and has dipped to No. 6 in the world. He missed the cut last week at Memorial, but he tied for eighth at The Players Championship in May and was tied for the lead after the third round of the Masters before tying for sixth. He has six top 10s this year and feels like he's back to playing well again as he preps here for the U.S. Open.

''I feel like I'm on top of this and it's going the right direction,'' Snedeker said. ''I really think these next couple weeks will be a good couple weeks for me.''