Kevin Chappell undergoes microdiscectomy surgery; out indefinitely
PGA Tour

Kevin Chappell undergoes microdiscectomy surgery; out indefinitely


Kevin Chappell will be out indefinitely after undergoing a microdiscectomy procedure on his back to relieve pain which has plagued him.

The surgery is scheduled for the final week of November.

"2018 has been a tough year for me physically," Chappell wrote in a post on Instagram. "After considering all options with my team we have decided having a microdiscectomy is the best option for my future. I’ll be having the surgery next week and will get to work to get myself back to where I know I can be as a player. Thank you for all the support. See you in 2019.”

After a breakthrough 2017 which saw him get his first PGA Tour win at the Valero Texas Open and contribute on the US Presidents Cup team, Chappell struggled in 2018 compared to the prior two years. Chappell made 16 cuts in 23 starts, and he failed to advance to the third stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He played three times in the fall start to the 2018-19 season, scoring a T-10 finish at the CIMB Classic before packing it in pre-surgery.

What is a microdiscectomy and what's the recovery time?

A microdiscectomy procedure is where surgeons remove a small portion of a herniated disc on the lumbar portion of the spine to relieve pressure on the spinal nerve, of which there are 31 pairs. Compression of the spinal nerves creates a condition known as sciatica, which can create debilitating pain.

Chappell's timeline for a return to the PGA Tour is unclear, but most patients typically leave the hospital in a day or two. After 2-4 weeks of relative physical inactivity, most patients have a full recovery in approximately 6 weeks. This would put Chappell back inside the ropes potentially in mid-January 2019.


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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]