Brooks Koepka says he can play through pain in right knee but is months away from full recovery


KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Since winning his second consecutive PGA Championship in 2019 — and his fourth major championship in three years — Brooks Koepka has been plagued by myriad injuries, the latest of which is still impacting him today.

Having missed the cut in his past two events after a knee procedure in March, Koepka hopes he is on the way back, However, he admits he is months from being 100%.

“Every day has been a long day,” Koepka said Tuesday at the Ocean Course, where the PGA Championship begins Thursday. “Starting from just training to the rehab, everything seems to take an hour, hour and a half longer. More attention to detail of what I’m doing off the golf course.

“I seem to get hurt in a bunch of freaky instances. It’s just one of those things where you’ve just got to move past it and take it one day at a time.”

After winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open and then finishing second at the WGC-Workday Championship in February, Koepka, 30, suffered an injury to his right knee and had surgery on March 16 to deal with a knee cap dislocation and ligament damage.

The injury occurred, he said, while with family in Florida approximately 10 days earlier. Koepka said that he slipped and that the injury required his knee cap being put back into place.

He then returned at the Masters, where he missed the cut after having trouble walking and bending to read putts.

“It didn’t set me back. I was fine,” Koepka said. “Just for my own satisfaction, I wanted to play. I was determined to do it. That was the goal all along. I was able to do it. Obviously I didn’t play the way I wanted to. It’s not fun when you can’t do the thing you know you’re capable of, but just to be out there, it was mentally satisfying.

“Nobody knows what I went through for those four weeks. Every time I was doing something, I just envisioned myself playing at Augusta. Like I said, what was it, like a week and a half in trying to ride a bike backwards and you can’t go around the cycle. It takes a lot of heart just to do it, but that was the goal.”

Nearly two years ago, Koepka had issues with his left knee and then aggravated the injury at a tournament in South Korea, keeping him out of the Presidents Cup.

That and a hip problem plagued him throughout 2020 and caused him to miss the U.S. Open. Then, after the success early this year, came the latest setback.

Koepka said his doctors have told him it will require another six months for him to be fully recovered.

“If I beat that, I’m doing something good,” Koepka said. “I can play. You’re never 100%, that’s the thing. For two straight years, it’s been left knee, right knee, herniated a disk in my neck, played in Tampa or wherever we were, played through that. I dealt with that all the way through Palm Springs.

“I can deal with the pain. That’s not an issue. It’s just a matter of being able to hit shots that I want to hit and do things I want to do, and I’m starting to be able to do that. Even though I’m not 100%, I can still hit the shots.”

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