The pain in his knee concerned Meyer, more so than his head. His Beijing doctors didn’t put much focus on his leg other than to give him a brace to stabilize the knee. Yet Meyer knew his body and felt there was something quite wrong. That’s when he began wondering if he would still be able to play golf. His limp and pain were both severe.
“With my head, I couldn’t feel a difference, and doctors had been treating me. I felt good about that. But my knee, it kept making problems,” Meyer said.
Once he received a diagnosis, he discovered he had a torn meniscus and a torn medial collateral ligament. The suspicion is Meyer’s head at the time of the collision either slammed into dashboard or hit the dome light in the car. Nobody is sure how he may have injured his knee. After consultation, his orthopedist determined he wouldn’t need surgery—that rehab would probably be sufficient.
It was then where Meyer’s admitted German impatience caused him problems.
“I’m not one of those guys who can sit on the couch and watch Netflix for 10 hours. I always want to be doing something, moving around.” So, he did, much to his detriment. Before long, Meyer was back swinging a club and eventually playing golf, which, as it turned out, was not necessarily a good thing.
“Looking back, I definitely started playing a little too early,” Meyer admits.
The thing was, it wasn’t just recreational rounds in Germany or even in Orlando. No, Meyer got on a plane and returned to China, and exactly 36 days after the car crash, the first-tee announcer at PGA TOUR Series-China’s Suzhou Open was introducing Meyer, who was wearing a full brace on his right leg. Predictably, Meyer shot a 5-over 77 in the first round, recovered with a 70 on day two only to miss the cut.
“That was a terrible idea. I had a massive brace on my leg, swinging with that, and I was limping. All the [players] who were there were like, ‘Velten, I can’t believe you’re over here.’ But, you know, that’s the result of me being terrible at sitting around. That’s my mentality.”
“I could not believe he was trying to play,” says Hu, surprised to see her friend but happy for the reunion nonetheless. “I really respect him. He’s a tough man, definitely.”
The following week, Meyer turned in rounds of 79-72, missing the cut at the Huangshan Championship.
“I had no chance those two weeks. My body really did not feel good. It kind of opened my eyes to go get a little bit more treatment, to get my knee checked out by a trainer. That helped me and put me back on the right path, which is why I started playing nicer.”