The Englishman has dislocated his right shoulder snowboarding in Colorado and is likely to be out of action for at least two months. “I am very frustrated as I was really looking forward to getting off to a fast start in 2012,” said the world No 20.
Casey was due to defend his Volvo Golf Champions title in South Africa in two weeks and is also set to miss the European Tour’s entire Middle East swing, including his bid for a third victory in Abu Dhabi in six years. He said: “The experts I’ve seen say I don’t need surgery and, having already started my rehabilitation exercises, I should be back hitting balls in a few weeks.”
Casey failed to qualify for the last Ryder Cup after suffering a rib muscle injury and was controversially not given a wild-card by captain by captain Colin Montgomerie despite being in the world’s top ten at the time.
Then last season he suffered from “turf toe” – a condition often associated with American football or rugby players. “There were times where I could barely walk round the course, never mind play the kind of golf I know I am capable of,” he said.
He lost his PGA Tour card in US after finishing outside the top 125 on the money list, but his world ranking makes him eligible for all golf’s big events.