RICHMOND, Texas – Michelle Wie’s left ankle sustained no serious damage based on the results of an MRI and X-ray she received Friday after flying to Los Angeles following her withdrawal from the LPGA Tour Championship, GolfChannel.com has learned.
David Leadbetter, Wie’s swing coach, spoke to Wie on Friday after she headed back to Stanford, where she is enrolled as a junior.
“She was examined and doctors said there was no serious damage, just a strain and some tendinitis down there,” Leadbetter said during the Golf World On-Air radio program I co-host with Mark Wood and Tim Rosaforte on Saturday mornings. “There is no damage, fortunately. She just needs a little bit of rest.”
Leadbetter said Wie first hurt her left ankle stepping into a hole at the Solheim Cup in August. She hurt it worse stepping into a hole at the Navistar Classic in Alabama last month, and she aggravated it again Wednesday as she was signing autographs at the end of the pro-am the day before the LPGA Tour Championship began.
“It wasn’t good at the beginning of the week, but when she walked up the 18th there were quite a few people around, and she lost her balance a little bit and re-twisted it,” Leadbetter said.
Wie is scheduled to play in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in three weeks.
“There’s still a possibility she may go to Dubai, but it all depends on how her ankle does,” Leadbetter said. “She could have tried to gut it through [this week], but as I told her, the problem is when you play with an injury, you develop bad habits and that’s the big thing you don’t want to do. It’s tough enough when you are healthy. Common sense prevailed, and she said let’s take a break.”
Before Wie won at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Leadbetter noticed she was fanning her left foot open to alleviate ankle pain on her follow through. They corrected that and she drove the ball terrifically in Mexico. Leadbetter said the problem with playing with injuries is that other compensating injuries can develop. Wie was beginning to feel pain in her right hip at the LPGA Tour Championship.
“It’s unfortunate, certainly, with the culmination of the year at the Tour Championship,” Leadbetter said. “Michelle’s a streaky player. When she gets on a hot streak, she plays well for awhile. I thought at the beginning of the week, if she could see her way through, she could really be a factor.”
Wie was at 2 under through 16 holes Thursday despite a pronounced limp. The injury clearly affected her swing at the 17th, where she blocked a shot right and into the water to make double bogey. She signed for an even-par 72 and withdrew about 45 minutes later.