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Montgomerie upbeat over Lee Westwood's fitness battle

Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie
Westwood (left) would be a key player in Montgomerie's team

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie says he is encouraged by news of Lee Westwood's fitness battle ahead of the contest in October.

The world number three was forced to pull out of this week's USPGA Championship because of a calf injury and has been advised to rest.

"He will be hitting balls in four weeks, which is great news for everybody in Europe," said Montgomerie.

"Our team will be greatly weakened if he didn't make it, so I'm delighted."

European team captain Montgomerie has not spoken to Westwood directly but has been in touch with his manager Andrew Chandler, and said he felt confident the Englishman would have time to recover before the 1-3 October match against the US at the Celtic Manor course in Wales.


"That gives him still another couple of weeks to prepare," said Montgomerie.

"He wants to play in the preceding event (The Vivendi in Paris on September 23-26) and I would be glad to see him there.

"But if he doesn't I'm sure three practice rounds around Celtic Manor will be good enough for Lee."

Westwood, 37, has played in the last six Ryder Cups.

He ruptured the plantaris muscle in his right calf at the French Open in early July but was fit enough to play in the Open at St Andrews later that month, where he finished a distant but creditable second behind Louis Oosthuizen.

He managed to play two rounds at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational tournament in America earlier this month before pulling out, saying he was finding it hard to put weight on his right leg.

Europe are seeking to regain the Ryder Cup after they lost to the United States by 16½ points to 11½ in Kentucky in 2008.

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