Stricker gets cortisone shot, but still concerned over weakness in left arm

steve stricker
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Steve Stricker realized something was wrong with his left arm last December, and noticed it getting weaker as the 2011 season went on.
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | 1:45 a.m.

Steve Stricker is concerned about losing strength in his left arm, and it didn’t help Tuesday at East Lake that he was hitting balls next to Bubba Watson.

He watched Watson pound one drive so far that it hit the net on the back of the range on the fly.

“If my neck didn’t hurt, I could get that,” Stricker said with a grin.

Stricker withdrew from the BMW Championship last week after two rounds because of neck pain that affected his left arm and made it difficult to hold onto the club. He had a cortisone shot on Monday -- his first one -- and felt he was fine to play in the Tour Championship.

The shot was between the C6 and C7 vertebrae, and he played nine holes in Wisconsin that afternoon.

“I don’t feel better yet,” said Stricker, who was told it would take three to five days for him to feel a difference.

“The crazy thing is there’s no pain. My neck is a little stiff, that’s all. But there’s just a weak, heavy feeling in my left arm.”

He spent most of his time hitting drivers on the range, with his worst miss being a hard draw for not getting through on his left side. He hit four drives on the 10th tee, taking his hand off the club on one shot that sailed into the right rough.

“I feel it here,” he said, rubbing the back of his left shoulder. “I think it affects my move back to the ball.”

Stricker said he first realized something was wrong with his left arm last December when it collapsed while pulling back his bow while deer hunting. He thought he took care of it through exercise, and he won two more PGA Tour events this year. But he noticed his left arm getting weaker as the season went on.

He has not finished in the top 10 in the six events since winning the John Deere Classic.

“The doctors are moderately concerned this is back again,” Stricker said.

His plan is to have an MRI on Tuesday after the Tour Championship and “come up with a game plan from there.”

Still to come this year is the Presidents Cup on Nov. 17-20. Stricker also had planned to play a Fall Series event to stay sharp.