Back from blood clot, Korda 'happy' to be at Open

Back from blood clot, Korda 'happy' to be at Open

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. — After being away from competitive golf since March because of a blood clot in her left arm, Nelly Korda opened up Tuesday about the timeline and rehabilitation of her surgery as she prepares to make her return to the course in the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Club.

In March, Korda experienced swelling in her arm while at a workout in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

“I just felt funny,” she said at her news conference Tuesday. “I went to the ER, got some ultrasounds, found out that I had a blood clot, went back home and saw a specialist.” That led to a procedure performed by Dr. Michael Lepore.

On April 8, Korda announced on Instagram that the surgery was successful. The rehab process that followed in California included back and shoulder exercises to help strengthen her left arm and swing again.

“I’ve been kind of struggling my shoulder a little here and there for the past year,” Korda said. “So you know, I was saying kill two birds with one stone.”

When asked about the cause of her blood clot, Korda cited medical privacy and did not elaborate.

Korda, 23, said she started hitting balls again around the end of April at about 60 percent capacity before eventually being cleared to take full swings. Korda said she didn’t want to have the U.S. Open be where she returned to competitive golf, but she had made up her mind that once she was 100 percent, she would focus on an event to make her return.

Still, the No. 2-ranked player in the world is keeping expectations measured for herself this week. Though her competitive fire has picked up over the last few days and resulted in her hitting the ball farther, she knows it might take some time before she’s back to her old ways.

“Girls are already in the middle of their season, they have a lot of rounds under their belts,” Korda said. “To tee up and to hit my first shot on the first, on Thursday, that is as far as I’m looking right now. … I’m just grateful to be out there, I’m not expecting too much.”

Korda’s last competition on the LPGA Tour was on Feb. 3 at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony where she finished 15h. She finished in the top 20 in each of her three starts this season, including tied for fourth at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.

“I just missed it so much,” Korda said. “I’m so happy to be out here against everyone.”

After this week, Korda will be defending her 2021 victories at the Meijer LPGA Classic and the KPMG PGA Championship.

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