Sindelar to begin Champions Tour season three months after surgery

Horseheads resident starting swinging a club two weeks ago—January 23, 2013

The Champion Tour's Allianz Championship starts Feb. 8 in Boca Raton, Fla., and Joey Sindelar intends to be there.

The Horseheads resident underwent back surgery in November and has been rehabilitating in preparation for the 2013 season.

Joey Sindelar has been plagued by back trouble the past couple years, forcing him to miss some tour events. It got so bad he elected to have an operation at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

"I never had major surgery before," Sindelar said, adding that post-surgery soreness had him worried.

"It was disconcerting for me. I visited the doctor in New York City six to seven weeks after surgery," he continued. "He said it's not unusual to feel pain. A lot of bone was cut out of the back, and the back is trying to heal. It could go on for quite sometime."

"Sindelar said he tried to avoid surgery with exercise, therapy and injections. That allowed him to compete and finish in a third-place tie at last year's Dick's Sporting Goods Open at En-Joie Golf Course in Endicott. But the pain got to be too much.

"Therapy couldn't touch it," he said.

Champions Tour star Fred Couples and PGA Tour veteran Dudley Hart have been treated at Hospital for Special Surgery, so Sindelar said that helped alleviate his concerns.

His surgeon, Dr. Frank Cammisa, has successfully worked on athletes before.

"He was interested in what a golfer would be doing to his spine during a golf swing. He does this all day, every day," Sindelar said. "He was clearly intent on doing the absolute minimum, get in and get out, since scar tissue formation can get ugly."

It seems to have done the trick.

"Now I'm up to pretty full range. That thrills me. The further we march, hopefully the better it gets," he said. "I've gone from literally bunting...Every day I’m counting the number of swings I take. If I do this process and add more speed, I’ll be 90 percent back in two weeks."


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