MADRID Spanish golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez will be out of action for at least three months after breaking his leg in a skiing accident on Saturday, the European Tour said on Sunday.
"I was skiing in Sierra Nevada, I lost control and fell," Jimenez was quoted as saying in a Tour statement.
"I felt a huge stab of pain and I knew straight away I had broken something," he said, adding that he had been operated on at a clinic in his native Malaga.
"I broke the top of the tibia in my right leg, just where it meets the knee, and they put in two pins.
"It will take three, four or five months to recover and be able to return to competition. I was playing very well but ... these things happen in life."
Jimenez, who will be 49 on Saturday, was named European Tour golfer of the month in November after his victory at the Hong Kong Open made him the oldest winner in Tour history at 48 years and 318 days.
A lover of fine wines and cigars and known for his trademark ponytail, he said he had become a keen skier some years ago and was well aware of the risks.
"The surgery was successful," the Tour statement said.
"He is expected to be discharged on Monday, so that, armed with crutches, he can see out the year at home with his family," it added. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, additional reporting by Tony Jimenez in London, editing by Justin Palmer)