Furyk underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist Monday in New York and is sidelined for three to six months.
In order for me to be a hundred percent, in order for me to get back to the level that I was at midsummer last year, this was the route I had to take, Furyk said Wednesday during a press conference at The Players Championship, near his home in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Furyk, who will wear a soft cast for at least two weeks, said the wrist has been bothering him since last years British Open. He sought medical advice near the end of 2003, and was told to try rest before going under the knife. He re-injured it in February while practicing, and when rest proved insufficient, surgery was required.
I got to the point where I was having trouble even gripping the club, let alone making a swing, he said. Last week was kind of a tour of doctors. I saw four to five doctors, got their opinions on what I should do. And the unanimous decision was surgery was the route to go.
Furyk had previously injured his right wrist in 2000 while playing football in a parking lot during a Pittsburgh Steelers game. The injury to his left wrist, however, was due to wear and tear from playing and practicing over the years.
There was a tear in the cartilage, he described. Basically, there was a flap of cartilage that actually kind of pulled up, and actually went down in to the hole that it made, so kind of a flap that got peeled off, made a hole in the cartilage, and it went into its own hole.
He had to go in and just basically remove the flap, shave it off.
With this weeks Players Championship and Masters Tournament definitely off the radar, and the U.S. Open fading from the screen, Furyk has his sights set in September, for the Ryder Cup.
Six months is the week after the Ryder Cup. And right now Id have to say that is my main focus, he said.
Theres going to be a lot of U.S. Opens, theres going to be a lot of Masters, PGAs, British Opens in the future ' there probably wont be so many U.S. Opens that Im defending at. But the Ryder Cup is only once every two years. Thats my main focus right now, considering its at the end of my six-month recovery rather than the beginning.
Furyk, who has played in only the Mercedes Championships and Sony Open this season, is currently fourth on the U.S. points list. Both he and U.S. captain Hal Sutton are hoping that he can keep a place inside the top 10 and secure an automatic spot on the team.
The team is going to be decided six weeks before the event, so its not probable that Ill be back there playing a lot of events before then, if any at all, Furyk said. Its also possible I wont be ready to play during the Ryder Cup time. If I were to qualify for the team, I would have to stay in close contact with (Sutton) and let him know exactly how my health was.
If it happens, he said he will miss the opportunity to defend his Open title at Shinnecock, but added: 'I'm not going back there for a victory lap, just to wave 'Hi' to everyone.'
Coincidentally, the only U.S. Open he has missed in the last 10 years was in 1995 ' the last time the event was contested at Shinnecok ' when he failed to qualify.
For now, Furyk will wait and watch ' and analyze. He will do television work for ESPN Thursday and Friday at The Players.
And while he is itching to get back on the course, he said he wont try and rush things ' even if it means skipping every major event, including the Ryder Cup.
My goal is to be a hundred percent. If I push too fast, I could end up slowing this recovery down rather than speeding it up, he said.
Im going to follow (my doctors) recipe to a tee and try to get as healthy as I can, as fast as I can. Im not going to come back until I feel like Im a hundred percent.