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Phil Mickelson back from wrist injury

Phil Mickelson makes his return from a left wrist injury here Thursday at the PGA National with the American southpaw trying to prepare his game for the British Open in two weeks.

Mickelson's still-bandaged wrist was hurt when he blasted out of dense rough at Oakmont in a practice round before last month's US Open and the 37-year-old treble major champion admits he will be cautious with it the rest of the year.

"It's OK - not 100 percent, but it will be all right," Mickelson said.

"I'm going to be leery all year. It's not like I'm ever going to be confident and going aggressively at it, but I think it will be OK."

The wrist received a workout Wednesday as Mickelson played a practice round then used it to hold items while autographing with his right hand, as usual, for dozens of spectators after exiting the 18th hole.

"The docs said I won't be doing any more damage to the wrist so I can go at it," Mickelson said. "I have been playing the past six or seven days. I wanted to get back out on tour now that I'm not going to get more injured."

Having missed planned starts with the injury, Mickelson chose to return at a new six million-dollar event hosted by Tiger Woods at Congressional Country Club, which hosted the 1997 US Open and features a similar tough par-70 setup.

"I certainly don't want the rough like it was but I like the green complexes, the distances. I like it when you don't have to shoot six- or seven- under every round to keep pace," Mickelson said.

"The course is difficult. Players like to play a US Open-type venue."

World number two Mickelson, a two-time Masters champion and a PGA Championship winner, has narrowly missed the US Open, three times finishing second, including a heart-breaking 72nd-hole double bogey last year.

"Lefty" also hungers to add the British Open as another missing piece of a career Grand Slam, his next chance coming in two weeks at Carnoustie, where he expects conditions much less difficult than the last time the Open was there.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to the Carnoustie everybody knows and loves," Mickelson said.

A large part of his British Open chances depend upon how well his wrist holds up this week after a week of training sessions with swing coach Butch Harmon.

"I spent a lot of days with him the past four or five weeks, worked on some things," Mickelson said. "This will be a good week to test it. The fairways are tight. If I can drive well here I can have a chance come Sunday."

Winning Tiger's first signature PGA event would be special as well.

"If he passed out the trophy, it would be pretty cool," Mickelson said.



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