Jason Day has revealed he had surgery to relieve back pain after withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.
The Australian former World No.1 underwent a Rhizotomy, a surgical procedure to sever nerve roots in the spinal cord.
The procedure is designed to reduce chronic back pain and muscle spasms.
"I had an epidural and they put me under for about 12 minutes," Day told AAP on Thursday at the Players Championship, where he opened with a four-over-par 76 to sit 13 shots behind leader Hideki Matsuyama (63).
"It's just sore. I hadn't touched a club since last Friday until (round one) today."
Day walked off after four holes of the first round at the Palmer event and was uncertain whether he would tee up at TPC Sawgrass this week.
"I don't know if the back feels any better; it feels exactly same as it did last week," Day said.
“The doctor said I can't damage it any more if I play so go out and play, so I teed up today just see how it goes.” – Jason Day
"But the doctor said I can't damage it any more if I play so go out and play, so I teed up today just see how it goes."
Day's withdrawal from the Palmer event was the 10th of his PGA Tour career and is related to a chronic back injury he battled throughout 2019.
He withdrew from the same Palmer event last year before receiving four cortisone injections, which helped him earn a tie for eighth at the 2019 Players Championship a week after.
A month later, he received on-course medical attention in the first round at the 2019 Masters but eventually tied for fifth, two shots behind winner Tiger Woods.
The injury forced Day to skip a trip home to Australia in December for the Australian Open in Sydney and the Presidents Cup in Melbourne.
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press