Day in doubt for Players following Bay Hill WD

It will be a case of fingers-crossed and hope for the best as an injured former winner of the Players Championship, Australia’s Jason Day weighs up his chances of playing later this week.

Day, who won The Players Championship in 2016, withdrew midway through the first round of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, citing back pain after dropping out of the event on the seventh hole.

Jason Day Jason Day

He was two-over-par after six holes and had just hit an approach into the water on the 16th hole (his seventh) before withdrawing.

“I woke up on Sunday and I couldn’t really walk,” explained Day after his untimely exit from Palmer’s event, which he won in 2016.

“[I] couldn’t sit in a car, it was really difficult. So I ended up coming down here and seeing a physio and trying to do as much work as I possibly could to get ready for this week.”

“It just wasn’t going to work out.”

The former US PGA champion later revealed that an MRI on Monday in Orlando had revealed an annular tear in the disc between his L4 and L5 vertebrae.

He hoped a proper warm-up and getting out on the course might solve the problem.

“I couldn’t play at 100 per cent today,” he said.

“I just wanted to see if I got out here and it might have loosened up…unfortunately it didn’t.”

Day was still hoping he would be able to play at Sawgrass this week, with the event moving to its new date earlier in the year.

“It’s too early to tell right now,” he said.

“I think it’s just rest, to be honest, and hopefully I’ll be ready.”

Unfortunately Day has had more than his share of injuries in recent years.

He had to withdraw from the 2012 US Masters with a strained left ankle.

The popular Aussie also withdrew mid-tournament from the final two events of the 2016 PGA Tour play-offs with a strained ligament in his lower back.

And in 2014 a thumb injury kept him out for almost two months.