Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters earlier this month, not because he couldn’t shoot on his reconstructed leg, but because he couldn’t even walk the course. He said on Twitter April 9 that he was suffering from plantar fasciitis, a lingering aftereffect of the major leg surgeries he underwent after a 2020 car accident caused multiple open fractures to his right leg, which threatened the limb with amputation. But it seems his condition at the mother of all major tournaments may have been even worse than that.
Yesterday on Twitter his public relations team said he “underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address his post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture.”
Citing FootcareMD.org, Golf.com wrote that a subtalar fusion procedure fuses together the two bones forming the subtalar joint, the talus bone and heel bone. “The joint allows for side-to-side movement of the foot and ankle,” the publication explained, “so fusing it means a recovering patient would require getting accustomed to walking on uneven surfaces.”
Tiger Woods Said This Could Have Been His Last Masters. Now We Know Why in Unsettling Detail.Fellow pro Jason Day revealed gory details about the toll a major tournament now takes on the golf great’s body
Most unfortunately, now he’s having surgeries to fix lingering effects of past surgeries from nearly two and a half years ago. He said at the start of the Masters that, now, when he plays at Augusta, he can’t help but think it might be his last time. With this latest procedure, and a recovery that according to Golf.com will mean his “foot must be non-weight-bearing for six weeks and in a boot or cast for 8-12 weeks,” there’s a chance he might not play any course in 2023.
It’s unlikely he’ll remove his foot from a walking boot and immediately be able to shoot 72 holes, and he’s already having a difficult time getting through tournaments — and not just the Masters. He withdrew from last year’s PGA Championship as well, and we learned at the Masters that was due to a screw in his reconstructed leg protruding through his skin. He also missed his own tournament, the Hero World Challenge, last December due to injury.
CBS Sports reported “there is no timetable for Woods’ return” from this latest surgery, and the publisher’s golf writer, Kyle Porter, noted in an interview that Woods doesn’t have a history of publicly announcing every procedure he undergoes. Thus, the tweet indicates in Porter’s mind that this is a significant one in the grand scheme of Woods’ growing injury timeline.
Porter also couldn’t help but speculate over Woods’ long-term ability to compete on the PGA Tour.
“It is obviously a bummer,” he said about the latest news. “We seem to be in the cycle of, ‘Hey! Tiger’s showing up!’ ‘Hey, Tiger had to withdraw.’ ‘Hey, Tiger had to have a procedure.’ And I don’t know how his body in the condition that it’s in how it gets out of that cycle.”
It was way better when the cycle was more like: “Hey! Tiger’s showing up! How’s he going to blow our minds again this weekend?” And then he did.