Edoardo Molinari, a member of the Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup-winning team, is facing surgery later this year on an injured left wrist.
Molinari revealed, after finishing with a share of 11th place in Sunday's Andalucia Open, that he has been carrying the injury for some four years.
However it was not until after returning home from the recent Middle East 'Desert Swing' that the 31-year old Molinari learnt the extent of the injury.
"The first time I felt pain in my wrist was four years ago when I had tendinitis, but after seeing doctors I've been informed some of the cartilage on top of my wrist has become firm and it needs to be removed," the Italian said.
"I had six weeks off over the winter, but when I went out to the Middle East I knew something was wrong with my wrist as it became very painful."
After having two cortisone injections on his return from the Middle East, Molinari says he is able to compete without pain killers but had his wrist strapped during his appearance last week in Spain.
"I can wait to around September to have the operation so I will see how it goes through the year," he said. "Luckily I'm not doing any more damage by playing, but if it does get too painful I will have the operation earlier."
Molinari earned a captain's pick from then-Captain Colin Montgomerie by capturing the final qualifying event for the 2010 Ryder Cup, the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
He and brother Francesco halved their fourballs match against Americans Stewart Cink and Matt Kucher. Molinari then claimed a half point when he and Rickie Fowler halved their singles match.
For now, Molinari is more concerned for his wrist than thoughts of qualifying for Jose Maria's European team at this year's Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club in September.
"I've loved to be on that plane heading to Medinah, but I'm a long way away from thinking of that at the moment," he said. "All I want to be able to is continue to play well as I have the Masters coming up so I am looking forward to that after finishing 11th last year."
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