Miguel Angel Jimenez plays for the first time this year at Spanish Open in Valencia
Last Updated: 21/04/13 8:38pm
Miguel Angel Jimenez: Has been sidelined with a broken leg since December
Miguel Angel Jimenez makes a welcome return to action this week as he makes his 599th appearance on the European Tour.
The 49-year-old has not played competitive golf since he suffered a broken leg in a skiing accident at the end of December, but he will tee up at El Saler for the Spanish Open on Thursday.
Jimenez made his Tour debut in the event 30 years ago, and despite not being fully fit, he is looking forward to playing on home soil in the only Tour event in Spain this season.
"My leg is improving daily," said Jimenez, who became the oldest winner in European Tour history last November when he lifted the Hong Kong Open title.
"I work out every morning in the gym and I'm actually a little ahead of schedule on my rehab. I am not one hundred per cent fit, but I want to test myself and see how I feel.
"I can't wait to be back on Tour with my friends and I'd hate to miss the chance of playing at El Saler.
"Javier Arana's wonderful design blends beautifully with its natural surroundings, both in the pine trees area and in the dunes area. For me it's the best course in Spain and I love all the holes.
"It's a beautiful layout with a strong finish; the 17th is a good par three towards the dunes and the 18th is spectacular. Once you play at El Saler you get hooked."
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has also made the trip to Valencia after posting a creditable top-20 finish at the Masters last week.
"I am delighted to be in Valencia, obviously tired coming straight from Augusta but happy to be in Spain," Fernandez-Castano said.
"I'm happy with my game the last few weeks. I am bittersweet about the Masters because I feel I could have done better, although I was there over the weekend and I played with Tiger on Saturday.
"It's a shame that we have only one event in Spain this year, and that's the reason why I am here. Had it been a different tournament, I would have taken a break, but it's my national Open."