Anka Lindner can’t wait to tee up in next week’s ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, where she will make her first start of 2016 in front of a home crowd at Golf Club Hubbelrath in Düsseldorf.

anka2The 28-year-old from Hannover last played at the 2015 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in December and planned to start her season at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, but tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee playing football with friends in mid-March.

“Of course I was shocked, frustrated and first and foremost just terribly sad when the doctors told me that I wouldn’t be able to play golf for at least six months,” said Anka, who won the 2013 HOMNA Pilsen Golf Masters in the Czech Republic as a rookie.

“I had big plans for this season and then suddenly… full-stop. On the other hand, football has always provided a great counterbalance for me and I’m sure that it also helped me with my golf in the past.”

anka3Anka has played football since she was a young child and this was her first injury. After surgery, she fully committed to rehabilitation and added: “When I woke up after the surgery and heard that the docs were happy with the result I said to myself, ok let’s get back on the golf course as fast as possible. Thanks to the great team around me I made good progress from the first day of rehab but the hardest part was to not being able to hit a golf ball.”

The Ladies European Tour’s announcement at the end of May that the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters will be played in Germany for the first time came as a massive boost for Anka’s recovery and it became the her main goal to return to competitive golf in time for her home tournament.

“When I heard that the LET is returning to Germany, I wanted to jump around and dance. It felt like an accelerator for my rehab and made me put in even more effort every day,” she said.

Six months on from the injury, she feels ready to return to action but has realistic objectives. “Right now I’m just happy that I will be able to play next week. If you ask me about my expectations for the event, I have to say that I’m just looking forward to returning to the thing I love most and that is playing professional golf. I can’t wait to get out there, meet my friends and plan to just enjoy every moment. For me it’s the icing on the cake that I will be able to start my comeback in front of my home crowds.”

The ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters takes place from Thursday 8th September with a field of 144 international players from 33 countries globally.