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Poulter injury puts Ryder Cup place in doubt

Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Ian Poulter hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/Files
Apr 8, 2016; Augusta, GA, USA; Ian Poulter hits out of a bunker on the 2nd hole during the second round of the 2016 The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Ian Poulter is expected to be out for four months, seriously jeopardising his hopes of playing in the Ryder Cup in September, because of arthritic problems in his right foot.

"I am obviously disappointed to be in this situation especially during a Ryder Cup year," said the 40-year-old Briton, an inspirational member of Europe's last five teams.

"Right now rest and rehab take priority in me returning to full strength later this season. I look forward to resuming a full schedule as soon as I am able," the world number 85 told the European Tour's official website on Friday.

Having won 14 Ryder Cup points out of a possible 18 in his career, Poulter would probably have received a captain's pick from Darren Clarke for this year's match against the United States at Hazeltine, Minnesota.

Poulter was credited with sparking Europe's magnificent fightback victory at Medinah in 2012 when he birdied his last five holes in the final fourball match.

"Ian has been hampered by an arthritic joint in his right foot for the best part of two and a half years," doctor Ara Suppiah told the tour's website.

"The condition has progressed rapidly over the last year warranting numerous cortisone shots to allow him to play.

"Unfortunately he continues to be in pain whilst walking and practising. Further cortisone shots run the real risk of thinning the bones and stress fractures, which might require treatment in a cast and significant time away from the game," added Suppiah.

"We feel the best option at this stage is to take some time off to allow complete recovery and rehabilitation. This will give him the best chance of returning to the game sooner and preventing further deterioration of the affected joint."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond and Tony Jimenez)

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