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Goosen returns to action after back surgery

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The Goose is back on the loose.

Five months after undergoing surgery to repair a “totally disintegrated” disk in his back, Retief Goosen returns to action this week at the European Tour’s Volvo Golf Champions in South Africa.

Having returned about six weeks ahead of schedule, the two-time U.S. Open champion told EuropeanTour.com that he is “very excited about the new year. Obviously the last three years have been pretty bad. Last year, I tried a bit of everything … injections, loads of physio(therapy), anything you could think of, but nothing really helped. In the end, we had no choice but to have the operation.”

The 14-time European Tour winner, now ranked 107th in the world, shut it down in August after only 12 events. He began hitting balls three weeks ago.

“Hopefully the back will stay as good as it feels now,” Goosen, who turns 44 next month, told the website. “I just need to really work on my swing a little bit and find a bit of game. I’m not really sitting here expecting to win, but you never know in this game.”