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Montgomerie to play on despite injury

Colin Montgomerie was cleared to play in the U.S. Open after doctors determined he won't need surgery on his ailing back.

Doctors told Montgomerie he will have to undertake a rigorous program of daily exercises to reduce the pain and strengthen his back.

Montgomerie, playing despite the back injury, lost to Tiger Woods on the third hold of a playoff at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open on May 13 and finished tied for second place at the Volvo PGA Championship last weekend.

His status for the British Masters this week was in doubt before undergoing tests and consulting with doctors. The U.S. Open will be played June 13-16 on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in New York.

``A MRI scan has shown his back to be in pretty good shape for a 38-year-old, which is remarkable for a professional golfer given the nature of the sport,'' osteopath Clive Lathey said in a statement. ``Colin does have some mild wear and tear, which is not serious but which will, when aggravated, cause occasional pain.

``The prognosis is good ... and I believe there will be absolutely no need for surgery during Colin's professional career.''

The statement said Montgomerie has been experiencing a combination of a ``mild disc bulge and an inflamed spinal joint at one level in his back.''

Montgomerie, who turns 39 next month, said he is determined to do what it takes to play competitively for another six years.

``My career is on the line,'' Montgomerie said. ``I've got to get my teeth into it or I won't have a career. You'll see a big difference in me come December, a bit less of me but stronger and better prepared for golf as well.''

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