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Day's back fine, but 'trying not to push it' as Masters nears

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PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Jason Day is feeling good, but he’s still listening to his body in the midst of a busy stretch and coming off an injury withdrawal.

Day pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago after completing just six holes, citing a back injury that he feared might keep him out of The Players Championship. But the Aussie received four cortisone shots and felt no ill effects last week en route to a T-8 finish at TPC Sawgrass that marked his third top-10 result of the year.

Showing no signs of issue during Wednesday’s pro-am at the Valspar Championship, Day explained that his back feels “good” and that he has required no further cortisone shots since the initial dose.

Full-field tee times from the Valspar Championship

Valspar Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“It seems like every time my back goes out I get the questions for about two or three weeks, and then they slowly go away,” he said. “It’s coming along. I’ve just got to not push myself too hard. But I feel good about it.”

With the Masters just three weeks away, Day doesn’t have much time to rest and re-evaluate. This week’s start in Tampa is the second in a three-week stretch, as he’ll also head to Austin next week for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which he won back in 2016.

Day said that he hasn’t had to dial back his practice routine over the last two weeks, but the injury and recovery have meant taking stock of his fitness on a daily basis with the season’s first major around the corner.

“It’s more so because I’ve had back issues for a long time that I kind of monitor it as the day goes on. I know if I’m pushing myself too hard or if I’m not,” Day said. “I’m trying not to push it, but I definitely still have to prepare and try to compete against the best players in the world, which is really difficult to do sometimes when you have a back issue. These guys are the best in the world for a reason, so I’ve got to somehow do something to at least compete against them.”