Golf legend Jack Nicklaus has praised adult stem cells, after undergoing ground-breaking treatment to help him continue playing the sport he loves.
Nicklaus underwent surgery to have stem cells removed from his abdomen and inserted into his lower back.
The 78-year-old, who has won a record 18 majors, suffered from severe back pain throughout his childhood and needed regular injections during his career.
Widely considered to be the greatest golfer of all time, Nicklaus is now retired from playing professionally.
He said he could not “hit a golf ball without hurting” before surgery.
“I can now stand for as long as I want, I don’t hurt when I hit a golf ball and I don’t hurt when I hit a tennis ball. That’s a pretty good result for me”, Nicklaus added.
In an interview with CNN.com, Nicklaus was vocal about his support for the treatment.
He predicted that adult stem cell treatment will change “the direction of orthopaedics” and said he hopes to continue playing golf for “as long as my stem cells allow me”.
The surgery was completed in under two hours and he was back on the golf course within a week.
It was carried out in Germany by Dr Eckhard Alt and Nicklaus is returning to the country to undergo a similiar procedure on his shoulder.
Experts say the treatment could help millions of people who suffer from joint pain.
It only costs around £30 and was the first of its kind to be given approval by the Food and Drug Administration in the US.