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Phil Mickelson pulls oblique muscle, 12 days before Masters

By John Strege

SAN ANTONIO -- Phil Mickelson has joined Tiger Woods on the disabled list, at least temporarily, having withdrawn from the Valero Texas Open with a pulled oblique muscle 10 holes into the third round on Saturday.

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"My back's feeling great, my body's been feeling great, I felt as good as I have all year," Mickelson said. "My speed is back, I was hitting the ball hard, driving it great. I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the second hole. It just killed and wouldn't subside for 10 or 12 seconds.

"I'm going to go back to San Diego for a couple of days and have a doctor take a look at it, but there's really not much you can do for a pulled muscle. I hope I'll be OK to play the Shell in Houston, but I just don't know."

Mickelson was using the Valero Texas Open and next week's Shell Houston Open as preparation for the Masters the following week.

Earlier this year, Mickelson withdrew from the Farmers Insurance Open with back issues.

Woods, meanwhile, withdrew in the final round of the Honda Classic, limped through the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, then was unable to defend his championship in the Arnold Palmer Invitational as a result of a bulging disc in his back. It remains uncertain whether Woods will be able to play in the Masters.

(Getty Images photo)

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