Phil hopeful of playing at Phoenix

Phil Mickelson has not given up hope of featuring in the Phoenix Open, but he admits he won’t risk his long-term health.

A sore back forced the five-time major winner to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines after Friday’s second round.

He has already seen specialist Tom Boers and will test out his back on Wednesday before making a final decision on whether or not he will defend his Phoenix title at TPC of Scottsdale in Arizona from Thursday.

“Tom restored my mobility, but I still have inflammation that will take a week or two to subside,” the world number four said.

He added: “If it was any other tournament I’d skip it. But I’m defending, it’s my second hometown and I love the event. I’ll have a light practice session and if it goes well, I may try to play.”

The 43-year-old American has also entered the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am from February 6, but he will take a few weeks out after that. The southpaw knows it is important not to take unnecessary risks so early in the season.

“I’m itching to play,” he said. “But I have to look at the big picture. I have a number of tournaments I want to play and play well this year, including the majors, so I have to be realistic about how I feel in the short term.”