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Kim out of Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Anthony Kim, hampered by a nagging injury to his left thumb, withdrew from the Players Championship on Tuesday.

Kim says the ligament has become detached from his thumb, an injury he has been coping with even through good times.

He was coming into the Players Championship as one of the hottest golfers on the planet. He won last month's Houston Open and finished third at the Masters. He was in contention through three rounds at the Quail Hollow Championship last week, but shot a final-round 71 to tie for seventh place.

"The injury has been well documented over the past month, and I've been doing everything I can to play through it, but it became more of an issue last week and needs to be looked at," Kim said.

Kim has previously said that the injury will ultimately need surgery, which would sideline him for 2-3 months for recovery and rehabilitation. Prior to last week's tournament, he said he was hoping to hold off on surgery until late this year in order to compete in the remaining three majors and the Ryder Cup.

In eight PGA Tour starts this season, he owns four top-10 results and has yet to miss a cut.

"I'm extremely disappointed to have to miss the Players Championship," he added, "but will consult with my doctors this week and follow their recommendations for treatment."

The absence of Kim, who is ranked 11th in the Official World Golf Ranking, means three of the current top 15 won't compete at TPC-Sawgrass. Third-ranked Steve Stricker (shoulder) and No. 15 Retief Goosen (toe) previously withdrew from the event.

Jason Sobel covers golf for ESPN.com.