Injured Alvarado hopes to return for final event

Halleran/Getty Images
Benjamin Alvarado is hoping to play in the final event of the season in two weeks.
September 15, 2013
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM

Benjamin Alvarado, absent from the Tour since late July, has been recovering from knee inflammation and hopes to return for the season finale in two weeks, a spokesman said Sunday.

The Chilean pro won the Brasil Classic in April after receiving a late sponsor exemption and subsequently earned one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards given out after the regular season.

The injury, though, has caused Alvarado to miss the first three stops of the Tour Finals to compete for higher entry priority. An MRI on his left knee is scheduled for Monday, and he’ll meet with his doctor Tuesday to discuss the results.

“We’ll take the final decision once we speak with the doctor on Tuesday,” Lukas Peric, marketing director for Chilean firm Podium Sports, said via e-mail.

If Alvarado is cleared by the doctor, he'll return to the United States for the Tour Championship, which begins Sept. 26 on the Dye's Valley course at TPC Sawgrass.

Alvarado had surgery on both knees in late 2009, shortly after he turned pro, causing him to miss 14 months of competition. Peric suggested the flareup this summer stemmed from overuse, a byproduct of his sudden eligibility for the Tour.

Alvarado’s original plan for 2013 was to play the Chilean professional circuit, the NEC Series-PGA Tour Latinoámerica and the Chile Classic. After winning in Brazil, Peric said, “he had to modify his schedule to play all the demanding Tour events.”

The 28-year-old pro joined the circuit at the South Georgia Classic, playing nine of the next 11 events before the knee became too painful. Alvarado went back home to Chile, where his doctor advised him to shut it down for eight weeks.

Alvarado has been doing light rehab during the hiatus to strengthen muscles around the knee, Peric said, and recently returned to the course to prepare for a return.

For the year, Alvarado played 12 events during the regular season, including a tie for fourth in his homeland before winning in Brazil. He finished 19th on the money list with $157,304.

With next year’s entry eligibility based upon Finals earnings, though, Alvarado’s name has fallen to the bottom of the priority list.