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DeLaet, Perez rehabilitated backs together

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First-round Sony Open leader Graham DeLaet and veteran Pat Perez may not seem to have much in common, but this week they share an odd connection.

Both are in contention at Waialae, and both spent time in the offseason alongside each other while rehabilitating back injuries.

DeLaet underwent back surgery a year ago, holding off a full-fledged return to the PGA Tour until this season. Perez battled a bulging disc for all of 2011.

“I went to Athletes Performance in Scottsdale.  I actually worked out every day with Graham,” Perez said after a 3-under 67 on Friday. “I was there every day, and I was there for 2 1/2 hours a day doing stretching, and I did this acupuncture and stretching and ice and working out and all this stuff, and I felt great.”

The rehab work, however, appears to be wearing off as the grind of the season begins anew.

“Now that I'm walking around a lot, it's starting to come back.  It's just tight. I can't get it to loosen up,” he said. “[H]opefully it disappears.  But it probably won't because the disk is bulged, so it sucks. I think that's forever.”