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Back problem could keep Swede Hanson out of Seve Trophy

Sweden's Peter Hanson tees off on the second hole during the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open golf championship at the Merion Golf Club in
Sweden's Peter Hanson tees off on the second hole during the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open golf championship at the Merion Golf Club in

By Tony Jimenez

(Reuters) - A recurring back problem may prevent Ryder Cup stalwart Peter Hanson from representing Continental Europe in next week's Seve Trophy match against Britain and Ireland at St Nom-la-Breteche on the outskirts of Paris.

The 35-year-old Swede has been sidelined for more than a month because of the injury that caused him to pull out during the first round of the British Open at Muirfield in July.

"He's getting better," Hanson's mind coach Torsten Hansson told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. "He is practising again and from the results we get from that we will take it to the next level.

"If we get what we want he will play in the Seve Trophy and then take a couple of weeks off before playing in China," he added, referring to the BMW Masters in Shanghai from October 24-27.

"We had some wrong information from the start," said Hansson. "I don't blame anybody but the first diagnosis should have been that the disc was compressed to one mm and from that you have to do things like he is doing right now.

"The disc is supposed to be seven mm high, it is the highest and biggest in your whole spine, but Peter's is just one mm because it's been damaged for a long time."

Hansson said his fellow-Swede, who helped Europe win the Ryder Cup in 2012 and 2010, would be affected by the problem for the rest of his career and had had to cut back on his practice and gym work.

"There is no way that disc will get back to seven mm again but you can get it to a manageable situation," he explained.

"With the right sort of training he can play top-level golf again. I'm absolutely positive about that."

Hansson said the six-times European Tour winner was simply glad to be out on the course again.

"He is feeling positive that we are on the right track at last," added the 66-year-old Swede, who also works with world number four and Sunday's FedExCup winner Henrik Stenson.

"Peter feels he is getting better every day and I think he's looking forward to playing again."

Continental Europe won the first Seve Trophy 13 years ago but Britain and Ireland have won the last six matches.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

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