DAVID Howell will hope there are no lingering after-effects of the back injury that forced him out of the Nordea Masters a fortnight ago when he returns to action on the European Tour this morning.

The Swindon ace will tee off in the first round at the BMW International in Munich at 11.50am in his first competitive round since having to withdraw after just nine holes on day one in Sweden.

“There is no major issue with the back but I am a bit tired because it is hot out here,” said Howell.

“In terms of the problem I withdrew with, there are no signs of that recurring, so I should be fit and raring to go.

“I had a couple of weeks off, I called my chiropractor a couple of times, it was just a worse version of what happens with my back quite often so it’s nothing too worrying.”

The Golfclub Munchen Eichenried course holds fond memories for Howell, who won the tournament in 2005 when he pipped John Daly and Brett Rumford by a solitary stroke.

“I have always enjoyed playing here, the course has changed a bit over and has got longer over the years where they keep moving the tees back,” he added.

“There are a couple of new ones this week but other than that it has got a very similar feel. It’s improved a lot and is a good venue.”

Before injury struck, Howell had begun to see some improvement in what had been a difficult campaign so far and despite the lay-off, the 41-year-old sees no reason why he can’t pick up from where he left off.

“It’s been a tough year but there was a little bit of positivity in terms of the trend in my golf. I made a couple of cuts so it was a real blow to have to withdraw in Sweden,” Howell added.

“Things in the last couple of months are on the up in a strange way, hopefully we can pick up more positivity this week and get another result.”