Tiger Woods has undergone surgery on his troubled ankle and could be set to miss months of the 2023 season in a worrying sign for the golf icon. On Wednesday, Woods underwent surgery on post-traumatic arthritis from a previous talus bone fracture.
The injury comes after Woods was involved in a life-threatening car accident in Los Angles in February 2021, which resulted in serious leg injuries. The injury left many fearing for Woods' career, but the champion golfer returned and now hand-picks tournaments.
'QUITE SHOCKED': Nick Faldo rips into Rory McIlroy over Masters act
At the Masters, Woods stunned fans when he announced he wouldn't compete all 72 holes due to the wild weather that has affected the tournament. It marked the second time in the past 12 months that Woods has been forced to withdraw from a major championship due to injury.
In September last year he pulled out of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. On Wednesday, Woods said the surgery was successful but no timeline was granted for his return.
The 15-time major winner is all but certain to miss next month's US PGA Championship. However, greater concerns have been raised about his possible return at all considering his comments last year and at this year's The Masters.
Speaking in December, Woods said: "My goal is to play the major championships and one or two more. Physically that’s all I can do. I don't have much left in this leg."
Only a fortnight ago, Woods admitted he was cherishing all the moments at Augusta - which Jon Rahm won - because he wasn't sure when it would be his last event as a player. This was after footage showed Woods struggling on the course with his injury.
"I don't know how many more I have in me," Woods said in the press conference before Augusta. "So, just to be able to appreciate the time I have here and cherish the memories." However, at 47 years old, Woods' latest setback doesn't bode well.
Golf fans were quick to wish Woods a speedy recovery, but feared the worst for the all-time great.
Get well soon, brother
— Riggs (@RiggsBarstool) April 19, 2023
Get well soon, GOAT 🐅🐐
— Rory McIlroy Tracker (@RMTracker) April 19, 2023
It’s at least 9 months to 12 months before you see him on a golf course and given his issues regardless, that may be it for Tiger
— The Penalty Drop Golf Blog & Podcast (@thepenaltydrop) April 19, 2023
— The Golf Podcast | Live (@GolfPodcastLive) April 19, 2023
Can he play golf again? Yes, but that’s at least 6 months to a year in the future. His tournaments for 2023 are likely over, and I would not be surprised to not see him play again until Augusta 2024. 14/n
— Bill Mallon (@bambam1729) April 19, 2023
Tiger Woods' Masters return ends on sad terms
The 15-time major winner, who now plays a very limited schedule on the PGA Tour due to the car accident that causes him serious leg injuries, had speculated before the Masters that this might be his farewell to Augusta. "I don't know how many more I have in me," Woods said on Tuesday, "So just (have) to be able to appreciate the time I have here and cherish the memories."
The withdrawal marks the first time in Woods' career that he hasn't been able to complete all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional - a streak which dated back to 1997. Woods is still dealing with the impact of severe leg injuries he suffered in car crash in 2021.
He made his return at last year's Masters, where he finished tied for 47th and spoke of walking 72 holes on the hilly layout as a victory of sorts. For the 47-year-old Woods, the weather-enforced changes meant he would have had to play 29 holes on Sunday in order to finish.
“I’ve always loved this golf course, and I love playing this event,” Woods said after his second round on Saturday. “Obviously I’ve missed a couple with some injuries, but I’ve always wanted to play here. I’ve loved it.”
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