When It Comes to Tiger Woods’ Injuries, We Should Know Something in a Few Years

March 15, 2012 in Golf

Tiger Woods withdrew from the WGC Championship on Sunday amid rumors about why he dropped out as we saw blimp shots of the former World No. 1 driving down the highway.

Woods was vague with the PGA Tour media officials as he left Doral, telling Chris Reimer, the PGA Tour Communications Manager, “Tell them it’s my leg.” [Which leg?] “It’s my left leg.”

Of course, we know now thanks to Woods’ Twitter page that it was his left Achilles that was bothering him and his doctor diagnosed him with a mild strain of said tendon.

It would appear as if Woods withdrew as a precautionary measure to ensure that he would be able to play in the Masters, the year’s first major, in three weeks in East Georgia. He was given the go-ahead from his doctor that he could resume hitting balls later in the week and that he would be hopeful for next week’s Bay Hill Invitational (as well as the Tavistock Cup, which takes place on Monday and Tuesday).

Now, there is no reason to rehash Tiger’s injury timeline, other people have done that ad nauseum. What’s most important to understand is something that we probably won’t know for a few months or even years.

As with everything circling around Eldrick, there is a cloud of doubt or unknowing curiosity.

After his one-legged US Open victory in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, we came to find out that Woods had ruptured his Achilles while rehabbing his knee, something, we were told, carries a direct correlation with his rehab.

The only problem with that was, Woods and Co. didn’t let us know that he had suffered that rather significant injury until the 2010 Masters.

More than likely, Woods decided to drop that bomb at that time because it would give the media something other than his “transgressions” to talk about beings that it was his first tournament post-hydrant.

What is really concerning is the not knowing. Woods showed his latest, and arguably, closest return to form last week at the Honda Classic, highlighted by his final-round 62 on Sunday that put brought him just short of Rory McIlroy.

Now, a week and a half later, we sit scratching our heads, wondering, prognosticating and generally, guessing what Woods’ latest WD means.

He has withdrawn three times in the last three years (2010 Players, 2011 Players and 2012 Cadillac Championship) and each time was shrouded with confusion.

Woods’ people released a statement on TigerWoods.com that read in part, “He had tightness in the left Achilles warming up and it got progressively worse as the round went on.”

Then Woods’ explanation:

“After hitting my tee shot on 12, I felt it was necessary to withdraw,” Woods said. “In the past, I would have continued to play, but this time I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”

Optomists will say that Woods WD’d in favor of keeping himself healthy for the long run. That he played three weeks in a row and it’s not uncommon to feel a little worn down. That for the best chance at the Masters, he should take every precaution.

The only down side is that others point out the how the injury bug has firmly inserted itself into Tiger’s game. And despite being 36, it’s an “old 36” with “a lot of mileage on that body.”

So, what do we know for sure? In short: nothing, and Woods will likely keep it that way. If it was a mild strain, we likely won’t hear any more about it, but if it’s something worse, then we may find out that, too.

Except it might not be for a few years.

Looks Like Tiger Will Play 9 Holes of Golf Between the Masters and US Open

May 17, 2011 in Golf

Tiger Woods tweeted Monday and then announced on his website on that the injury he suffered at the Players Championship simply aggravated the previous injury from Augusta and did not cause any new damage to his surgically repaired left knee and Achilles.

Tiger Woods announced Monday that he irritated his left knee and Achilles tendon at THE PLAYERS Championship last week, but suffered no new damage.

Doctors have again advised rest, cold-water therapy and soft tissue treatment.

There is no definitive time frame for healing, but Woods will likely play in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club, June 16-19. It is doubtful he will compete in the Memorial Tournament while he undergoes rehabilitation and works on strengthening his leg. Playing prior to the U.S. Open will be a week-to-week decision.

It sucks for fans in Ohio, like myself, that Woods won’t be at the Memorial, but when you come to think about it, it’s nothing new. Tiger has been an aberration over the past two years. You’re aware of his presence, but he has tended to take a back seat to the tournament, unless you turn on ESPN.

The injury was clearly bothering him on Thursday at the Players, but his ego was hurting as well after taking 42 swipes to get around the front nine. Now, I know I’m in no position to judge Woods and how badly he was hurting. As we all know, only he really knows how much the injury was nagging him, but it seems like Woods didn’t really want to be in Ponte Vedra Beach last week.

He clearly wasn’t 100 percent and his play showed that. He dunked two chip shots in the water and by his own admission it was no fault of his knee or Achilles, just “bad shots, awful shots.”

So, this is where we stand with Tiger. He will have played nine holes of competitive (if you want to call it that) golf between the Masters and the US Open.

We can’t expect him to contend realistically, can we?

Typically US Opens are set up to test players in the most grueling ways possible. That’s hard enough to do when 100 percent healthy. It’s near impossible when you’re not.

The argument of Tiger in ’08 is the next logical step, but I’m willing to take Tiger in ’08 on a broken leg over Tiger in 2011 completely healthy. His short game had yet to leave him and his swing change had not occurred yet. Not to mention that little riff he had in the media and in his family.

That being said, would it be best for Tiger to shut it down completely in 2011? I say no, but I’m skeptical as to whether he will compete in the US Open without aggravating his injury once agin. If it were me, I think I shut it down at least for the US Open and weigh my options for the British and PGA Championship.

If Tiger is serious about contending for another 10 years on Tour and breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, wouldn’t it seem to behoove you to miss out on one (US Open) major to get healthy and give yourself a shot at two more (British Open and PGA Championship)?