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Garcia battles injury to stay in hunt

ESPN staff
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Sergio Garcia had the physio close by on Friday © Getty Images
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Dubai Desert Classic Leaderboard

Sergio Garcia shrugged off a shoulder problem to storm into contention after two rounds of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Spaniard reported the problem early in his round and was in regular contact with a physio, but he was still able to register a 67 at the Emirates Golf Club and move to nine-under.

Garcia has talked about striving for consistency, but he was anything but on Friday. He opened his round with a birdie but a bogey two holes later threatened to run him off track.

He concluded his outward nine with a birdie, birdie, eagle run but carded a bogey on his 10th.

The wind started to pick up as the day progressed and Garcia did well to par in. His par at the final hole was a notable effort, as he missed the green with his approach but got up and down from a tough lie.

"It is a tight shoulder," Garcia told Sky Sports. "In trying to protect it and the neck, the arm gets a bit tight.

"We got treatment yesterday and it felt okay this morning, but as the day went on and you are hitting shots it tightens up. Hopefully we will work it out and get it better.

"We started on 10 and on the 14th green, I told my caddie that if it does not get better we will probably walk. I do not want to make it worse and not be able to recover it. But then we started making birdies and eagles and we did not know what to do.

"We got the physio out and he did some work on it. It got better, then got stiff and then got loose again. It feels a bit better but it needs to improve."

Garcia's fellow Spaniard and Ryder Cup-winning captain Jose Maria Olazabal showed up well, carding a 67 to move to seven-under.

Richard Sterne came into the second round as the overnight leader and a birdie on 18, for the second day in succession, ensured he will be the last man out on Saturday as he signed for a 70 to move to 12-under.

Lee Westwood was celebrating the win of a horse he part owns on Thursday, but he was not celebrating on the course on Friday as a disappointing end to his round checked his momentum. He moved into contention at eight-under but an ugly double bogey on 17 was followed by a par on the birdie opportunity that is 18 and it forced him to sign for a 71 - which leaves him at six-under.

Scotland's Chris Doak added a 69 to his opening 65 to move into double figures at 10-under, one shot adrift of Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen, Stephen Gallacher and Tommy Fleetwood.

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