St Andrews: World number two Lee Westwood shrugged off his ankle problem to charge into title contention in the Dunhill Links Championship third round on Saturday.
The 37-year-old Briton has been hampered by his old injury throughout the tournament but a six-under 66 at Carnoustie, one of three courses being used this week, gave him an eight-under tally of 208.
Westwood hit seven birdies in cold, overcast conditions and dropped only one stroke at the 13th.
He was also in danger of bogeying the 18th after finding a greenside bunker with his second but recovered with a superb bunker shot to eight feet to save par.
Westwood said the injury, which kept him out for eight weeks ahead of last week`s triumphant European Ryder Cup campaign, may force him to pull out of the Portugal Masters.
"I am 50-50," he told reporters. "I would like to play next week and defend my title and I`ve got some other big tournaments coming at the end of the year."
"But I feel like I ought to get it right because my main priority now has got to be to get into the same shape for the US Masters (in April)."
"To not be 100 percent ... I`m really hacked off (to use) a polite word."
Westwood, who can replace Tiger Woods as world number one if he finishes in the top two at the Dunhill Links, said he had to take some share of the blame for his ankle problem.
"Getting older, these injuries come along every now and again," he said.
"It`s been 17 to 23 years of playing full time golf and only just recently have I started working on my fitness so maybe I have only got myself to blame."
"The recovery time is six to eight weeks," Westwood added.