09/20/2011 05:27 EDT | Updated 11/20/2011 05:12 EST

Mike Weir expects slow recovery, wants to get back before 2012 Masters

DRAPER, Utah - Mike Weir is facing a long road to recovery from surgery on his right elbow, but still hopes to return to the PGA Tour before next year's Masters.

The lefty from Bright's Grove, Ont., had a follow-up appointment with sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews last week and told reporters on a conference call Tuesday he's hoping to play a couple events in 2012 before the season's first major in April.

However, Weir acknowledged that he'll need to be patient during recovery and won't rush back to action.

The 41-year-old had the extensor tendon in his right elbow repaired on Aug. 18.

During surgery, Andrews discovered that the injury was even worse than he thought after looking at an MRI and Weir expects the recovery period to last as long as six months.

He's been dealing with injury problems since the 2010 season, when he played through pain for several weeks before doctors discovered a partially torn ligament in his right elbow that ended his season in August. He elected to avoid surgery at that time and rehabilitated the injury using band exercises designed to build strength.

Even though Weir entered 15 PGA Tour events this year, he never got his game on track. He made just two cuts and earned US$23,312, managing to break 70 in only one of the 34 rounds he completed.

Weir has slipped to 625th in the world rankings.