Steve Stricker's chest injury causing him some problems

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown of No. 2 in the world -- or, in this case, uneasy lies the chest.

Steve Stricker has been dealing with a chest injury the last few weeks and it's caused him to withdraw from several tournaments. Twinges in his upper-right chest caused him to pull out of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans the Wednesday before the tournament began, and further tests revealed the problem: inflammation in the joint where the clavicle meets the sternum.

Ouch.

Anyway, as a result of the pain, Stricker was altering his swing, which obviously had the effect of screwing up his game. He'd decided not to play Quail Hollow even before registering for it, and now it appears he could be out of The Players Championship, as well.

Still, if rest and the medication Stricker is taking heals the problem, so much the better. We had flashes of a Stricker-Tiger-Phil showdown at last year's Tour Championship in Atlanta, but in every event before and since, at least one of the three has been either absent or misfiring. If we could see all three of these cats at the top of their game for the U.S. or British opens, that'd be a sight to see.

So rest up that sternum and clavicle there, Steve. Don't lift anything heavier than a remote for a couple weeks, okay?

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