Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka believes he can win the Masters despite having surgery on his right knee three weeks ago.
The former world number one had surgery on 16 March after dislocating his kneecap and sustaining ligament damage.
The American says he was back hitting balls seven days after his operation.
“If I knew I was going to finish second, I wouldn’t have shown up,” said the 30-year-old after playing a few practice holes at Augusta National.
“I feel I can win. I’ll play. I’ll be all right.”
The first men’s major of 2021 begins on Thursday at the iconic course in Georgia, with Dustin Johnson the defending champion.
Koepka last played at the WGC Workday Championship in Florida on 28 February, where he finished tied second.
He then missed the Players Championship and Honda Classic before having surgery in California.
“The goal was to play Augusta and so we were going to see if we could play,” he added. “A couple of bad days or anything like that it could set you back quite a while.
“It’s been seven-plus hours every day in rehab, between getting my neck straightened away and the knee. I’m going to be living on the (rehab) table, making sure I can get comfortable and so it feels good.”
Koepka, who has previously struggled with left knee and hip issues, has won the US PGA Championship and the US Open twice each.
His best finish at the Masters was joint second in 2019.