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Kenny Perry returns from injury layoff

American Kenny Perry expects to feel mixed emotions when he returns from a two-month injury absence at this week's Byron Nelson Championship.

The 45-year-old has not played since the Doral Championship in early March following an operation to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.

"I don't know if I'm ready to go but I'm back," Perry told reporters at the TPC at Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas on Wednesday.

"First time I've been injured in my life, so it was the first time I ever had surgery and that was kind of a new experience.

"There will be a lot of emotions going on in me just when I tee it up tomorrow. I'll be nervous, I'll be concerned and I'll be excited. A little bit of everything."

Perry, who damaged his knee at the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii, hopes to be fully fit within the next two months.

Uppermost in his mind, though, is his title defence at next week's Colonial tournament in Fort Worth.

"When I was laying in bed watching everybody at Bay Hill, my first thought was I've got to figure out a way to get to Colonial," said Perry, who was unable to defend his Bay Hill title in March.

"That was always a big goal in my mind, just to be able to play next week. I don't know how competitive I'll be but I just wanted to go back, see everybody and just enjoy the week.

"I'm probably 80 percent right now with my knee the way it feels."

Since having arthroscopic surgery, Perry has been advised by his doctor to let pain be his guide during the recovery process.

"He says you're going to have to get over the fear factor a little bit," said the world number 21.

"A few days ago the knee gave way on me during a golf swing, just flat collapsed a little bit.

"I hit it about 100 yards left when I did it. I couldn't hang on to the club."

A nine-times winner on the PGA Tour, Perry refuses to put himself under any pressure to perform.

"I'm just going to take it slow, get out there and hopefully, by the middle of the summer, I'll be ready to go again," he said.

Perry, who has played in the last two Presidents Cups and the 2004 Ryder Cup, is scheduled to tee off in Thursday's opening round with fellow American Fred Couples and New Zealand's Phil Tataurangi.



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