Authorities have shared worrying new accounts from Tiger Woods about the frightening car crash that left the golfing legend in hospital with multiple leg injuries.
News of the crash and the horrific injuries that Woods suffered as a result, have sent shockwaves through the sporting world.
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Woods was driving alone through a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal suburbs of Los Angeles on Tuesday when his SUV struck a sign, crossed over two oncoming lanes and flipped several times before coming to rest on its side, its airbags deployed.
Photos from the scene painted an ugly picture, with the American's car suffering extensive damage as a result of the incident.
Woods was left with a shattered right leg and could barely stand on it, according to authorities, who said the golfer didn't realise how bad his injuries were and can't actually remember the accident.
“At the hospital he was asked about it by the investigators and he had no recollection of the crash itself,” LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told CNN.
Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez was one of the first people on the scene and said Woods' reaction to the crash might have been due to shock.
“I don’t think he was aware of how gravely he was injured at the time. It could be a mixture of adrenaline, it could’ve been shock,” Gonzalez said.
“Again it was very quick, the moment that I arrived from the moment that he rolled over, so I don’t know if he had time to fully assess his injuries,” added Gonzalez, who arrived six minutes after a 911 call was made.
Authorities saw no signs of impairment from Woods, who was transported to hospital shortly after the accident.
“At the scene, we’re looking for evidence of intoxication like if there’s an odour of an alcoholic beverage or there’s an open container or prescription medication,” Gonzalez said.
“At this time we didn’t see any evidence of impairment and anything beyond that in terms of the medical toxicology, I wouldn’t be aware at this time.
“I’ve seen collisions that didn’t look as serious where the occupants were injured much more severely.
"I think that’s just a testament to the fact that he was wearing a seatbelt, airbags worked as intended and modern vehicles are much more safe than they ever used to be.”
Injuries spell long road ahead for Woods
A statement on his Twitter account detailed the extensive injuries that Woods suffered, as well as the operations he underwent in hospital.
“Mr Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery,” Dr Anish Mahajan said.
“Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilised by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilised with a combination of screws and pins.
“Trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”
Two leading medical specialists in the United States insist there is no chance Woods will be right to play the Masters in April, with one claiming it will be a "challenge for him to walk properly".
“There’s no way he’s making the Masters in April, zero chance,” said Dr. William Ricci, the chief of orthopaedic trauma at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery. “Masters next April? Maybe.”
Dr. Andrew Brief, an orthopaedic surgeon with the Ridgewood orthopaedic Group in New Jersey said: "“You’re talking about the foot, ankle, leg, tibia. “It could conceivably be a challenge to walk properly, let alone return to professional sports."
He added that Woods' extensive back problems from multiple surgeries complicate things even further.
“When you couple the fact that he sustained some sort of devastating injury to the right leg, on top of his continued need for recovery from five times having had lumbar spine surgery, his ability to predictably return to an elite level in professional sports is certainly in question,” Brief said.
Woods has already undergone five back surgeries, with his latest one coming just last month.
He has also had multiple surgeries for knee problems, a torn Achilles and injuries to his calf, neck and shoulder.
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