Mickelson (back) unsure about status for Phoenix

Phil Mickelson isn't sure if he can play the Waste Management Phoenix Open on PGA Tour after back pain he played through last week (shown here at Torrey Pines).

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Phil Mickelson is still unsure about whether he will defend his title at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Mickelson, who withdrew halfway through last week's Farmers Insurance Open because of muscle pain in his lower back, already has said he won't play Wednesday's pro-am at TPC Scottsdale and will be unavailable for pre-tournament media interviews.

"If it was any other tournament I’d skip it,” Mickelson said in a release. “But I’m defending, it’s my second hometown and I love the event. I’ll have a light practice session and if it goes well I may try to play.”

Mickelson flew to Dalton, Ga., after withdrawing from Torrey Pines to meet with back specialist Tom Boers. “My facet joints had locked up,” Mickelson said. “Tom restored my mobility, but I still have inflammation that will take a week or two to subside.”

Mickelson is also slated to play the following week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

“I’m itching to play,” Mickelson said. “But I have to look at the big picture. I have a number of tournaments I want to play and play well this year, including the majors, so I have to be realistic about how I feel in the short term.”

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