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Merritt on the mend after having rib removed

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Troy Merritt doesn’t know when he will return to the PGA Tour, but he does know one thing: “I’ll have one less rib and I’ll be a much shorter dude,” he said with a laugh.

Last Wednesday, Merritt had the top rib on his left side removed after being diagnosed with Thoracic outlet syndrome last year. The syndrome occurs when blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and the first rib are compressed and led to Merritt having a large blood clot removed from his left arm last August.

“I didn’t want to be on the blood thinners for the rest of my life and after getting off to a good start this season and having won last year [Barbasol Championship] it seemed like a good time to have the surgery,” Merritt said from his home in Idaho.

Merritt had the surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas and was able to fly home on Saturday. Major league pitchers who have had the procedure take between three to six months to recover, but doctors are confident Merritt’s recovery shouldn’t take that long.

Merritt plans to begin rehabilitation on Friday and said he can start chipping and putting in three to six weeks.

“The pain isn’t bad at all and there was no nerve damage, which was good,” he said.

Merritt is currently 41st on the season-long points list following a solid fall season that included a tie for fourth place at the season opener in Napa, Calif. He’s also exempt on Tour for two years following his victory at the Barbasol.