Phil Mickelson will remain out of action indefinitely after the five-time major winner underwent a second sports hernia surgery in the off-season.
Mickelson had the first procedure performed on Oct. 19, with a typical recovery time in the range of 4-6 weeks. By all accounts, including Mickelson's, the first procedure was a success.
A sports hernia is a tear or strain of the soft tissue in the groin or lower abdomen, and how painful it is can vary on the tear and the way someone with a sports hernia moves.
“It was a walnut-sized hernia behind my belly button," Mickelson told Golf World in November. "It was no big deal, nor did it affect me when I played. I pushed it back in every minute or so. I couldn't work out as intensely as I wanted to, that's all. It didn't hurt or affect me. It was just annoying.”
After the first procedure, it wasn't clear how long Mickelson would take to recover. However, there was an expectation that Mickelson would make his 2017 debut at the CareerBuilder Challenge, the first mainland U.S. event of the PGA Tour year. Last year, Mickelson was named the ambassador (effectively, host) of the event.
Now it's unclear if Mickelson will be able to participate beyond that ambassadorial capacity.
It's been a rough off-season for Team Mickelson, with Lefty's caddie, Jim "Bones" Mackay, having a double knee replacement on the same day Mickelson had his first sports hernia surgery.