PINEHURST, N.C. — On Saturday at LIV Houston, Jon Rahm got a shot in his left foot designed to numb the pain he was experiencing, with the idea that it would last his entire round. Instead, he was wincing in pain by the second hole and had to withdraw after six holes. Tuesday at Pinehurst, ahead of this week’s U.S. Open, he provided more detail on exactly what happened, saying it was a “concern” and that he’s “definitely still in pain.”

“We’ve been trying to figure it out because I think that the closest term would be a lesion on the skin,” he said. “If I were to show you, it’s a little hole in between my pinky toe and the next toe.”

Rahm, who wore a flip-flop on his left foot at his press conference and hadn’t yet practiced on the course, said that the lesion became infected.

“The infection was the worrisome part,” he said. “The infection is now controlled, but there’s still swelling and there’s still pain. There’s a reason I walked out here in a shoe and a flip-flop, trying to keep the area dry and trying to get that to heal as soon as possible.”

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Jon Rahm is wearing a flip flop on his foot to “keep the area dry and trying to get that to heal as soon as possible.”

Alex Slitz

Rahm said that he could have finished his round in Houston if it were absolutely necessary, but the pain kept him from taking full swings, and he was worried that staying out there would hurt his swing in other ways.

By his high standards, Rahm has had a tough experience this season at the two majors, with a T-45 at the Masters and a missed cut at the PGA Championship. But prior to Houston, the 2021 U.S. Open winner had finished in the top 10 in all seven LIV events he played, with a pair of thirds as his best results. When asked about his level of career happiness—Rahm signed with LIV last December—he laughed.

“Career happiness?” he asked. “Yeah, I’m in a happy place. It’s not like I’ve been playing bad, even though a lot of you make it sound like I’m playing bad. I had two bad weeks.”

“I mean, it’s been a wonderful career so far,” he said. “And yeah, it hasn’t been the best first half of the year, but there’s been many times where I haven’t had a great start, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great finish.”

Rahm, 29, hesitated slightly when asked if he thought he had a chance to win this week, but finally answered that he always thinks he has a chance to win. But perhaps the most representative moment in terms of his confidence came when he finished describing his injury.

“I can only do what I can do,” he said. “The human body can only work so fast.”

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This article was originally published on golfdigest.com