World No.1 Dustin Johnson could be set to miss The Masters after sustaining a freak injury in a fall at his Augusta rental home.
According to the player's manager, David Winkle, the 32-year-old - who is going for his fourth win in a row - fell going down a set of stairs, taking a 'serious fall' and landing 'very hard' on his lower back and elbows.
It's understood Johnson has been advised by doctors to remain stable and take anti-inflammatories.
The statement in full read: "At
roughly 3pm today, Dustin took a serious fall on a staircase in his
Augusta rental home. He landed very hard on his
lower back and is now resting, although quite uncomfortably.
"He has been advised to remain immobile and begin a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication and icing, with the hope of being able to play tomorrow."
According to Tim Rosaforte, Johnson plans to visit the PGA Tour medical trailer - and possibly get an MRI and X-ray - in the morning.
"He’s a warrior, and if he can play at all, he’s going to play," added Winkle. "Right now it’s such a freak thing, we just hope he’s okay."
The news is likely to come as a boost to the American's fellow contenders Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, with bookmakers now enlisting all three players as 7/1 tri-favourites. Previously, Johnson had been the sole favourite, followed by Spieth and then McIlroy.
However, Johnson is boosted by the fact that he has a late tee time and is out in the final group alongside Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker at 2.03pm [7.03pm UK time].