Stephen Gallacher on mend after suffering 'scare' in cycling accident

Stephen Gallacher is targeting a return to European Tour action in next month’s Betfred British Masters at The Belfry after suffering a “bit of a scare” in a cycling accident.

Stephen Gallacher and son/caddie Jack during the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City in February. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

The four-time tour winner was out on his mountain bike close to his home in West Lothian when he was flipped off it in a “freak” fall, cracking a bone in his hand.

The injury is forcing Gallacher to miss the circuit’s new Canary Islands Swing, which continues in Tenerife this week, but the 46-year-old is on the mend.

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“I fell off my mountain bike,” he told The Scotsman. “My pedal hit the surface and flipped me right off the bike. I landed on my hand, elbow, foot and head, cracking my helmet. I had a bit of a scare, to be honest.

“I enjoy cycling and was just trying to keep fit. It was just a freak accident. I cracked a bone in my hand and it takes six weeks to heal.

“I was speaking to Doug Campbell, the hand specialist from Scotland who is based in Leeds. He helps players on the tour, and he said, ‘listen, it needs to be six weeks’.

“I had a splint on for four weeks. It’s off now. It’s pretty good, just a bit stiff. It will be six weeks on Sunday and that’s when I will be able to batter it again, so to speak.”

Gallacher hasn’t played since missing the cut in the Qatar Masters last month, having decided to miss out on the tour’s double-header in Kenya straight after that.

However, the 2014 Ryder Cup player is aiming to add a few more events to his schedule later in the year as he bids to eventually claim the record for most appearances on the circuit from Miguel Angel Jimenez.

“I hit balls yesterday for the first time but just chipping and putting and soft shots,” he said. “I’ve got Dingers (European Tour physio Ian Dingwall) coming today to do a bit of physio.

“I missed three events, but hopefully I can make that up in the middle of the season. I actually had a niggly back and a niggly shoulder before suffering the bike accident and the good thing is they are both perfect as a result of the break I’ve had.

“Because I could only walk and not do anything gym wise, I’ve had a chance to let everything settle down and take it easy. It’s been good that way.”

The European Tour had originally been scheduled to play one event in Gran Canaria and one in Tenerife before a second was added in Tenerife following the postponement of the French Open due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Gallacher sits on the tour’s tournament committee and says chief executive Keith Pelley and his staff deserve enormous credit for continuing to tee up events for members during the pandemic.

“They’ve done a phenomenal job,” he said. “To put the second event in Tenerife on at such short notice is brilliant. It’s almost as though they have a contingency plan for every week in case something happens.

“Keith his staff meet every morning and talk through all the scenarios. We know how hard they have worked. They are committed to putting on events every week, which is brilliant.”

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