Barnes surgery cuts out summer

KURT Barnes is targeting an April return to the fairways in Japan after undergoing shoulder surgery last Thursday.
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SIDELINED: Vintage touring professional Kurt Barnes is aiming to resume practice in February after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction last Thursday. Picture: Gettys.

The Vintage-based professional had a full reconstruction at Macquarie University in Sydney to repair his rotator cuff and bursa.

Barnes first sufferedpain in the joint in 2011 duringthe lead up to one of his biggest victories, theOneAsiaTour’s SK Telecom Open in South Korea.

In the past 18 months the pain has intensified.

“I took a jacket off four years ago when I was playing, just before I headedto Korea where I won the SK Open,” Barnes said.

“I got a cortisone injection over there from a Korean doctor and itcame good for a week and I didn’t have an issue with that until 18 months ago.

“The specialist I saw said it was like a badly sprained ankle.”

Despite the injury the 34-year-old battled through to finish 55thon this year’s Japan Golf Tour’s money list withearnings of $215,667.

The seasonwas highlighted by a fifth-place finish at The Crowns in May and 13 cuts from 20 tournaments played.

“I virtually tried to play out this last year and keep my card, and as soon as the season was over I booked in to get it done straight away,” Barnes said.

Due to Japanese commitments Barnes rarely plays the Australian majors, but the surgery will prevent the Muswellbrook product from contestingthe Victorian Open andPGA and the Perth International in February.

“I’m not going to rush it, as I don’t need to be back until April,” he said.

“I probably won’t be swinging a club until February or maybe early March.

“My main priority is Japan and as long as I’m fit by the middle of April, then I’ve done my job.”

There were initial fears Barnes would have missed the opening months on the Japan Golf Tour ifthe surgeon needed to reattach his bicep tendon.

“The tendon is fine, so that brought the injury in from four or five months recovery to three months,” he said.

“I’m lucky I can take some time with it.”

Barnes will spend the summer resting with his family at their Maitland home, beforerehabilitation begins.

“Once I get the all clear to start rehab I’ll beginthe slow process of rebuilding some strength in the muscle so I don’t have to have another one down the track,” he said.

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