Tiger Woods has undergone successful fusion surgery on his right ankle following his recent withdrawal from the Masters.
Woods, 47, pulled out during the third round of the major at Augusta because of plantar fasciitis.
He was seen limping on the course and has now had an operation to correct an arthritis issue from a previous ankle fracture.
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An update posted on Tiger Woods’ social media on Wednesday confirmed he has since had surgery to address arthritis stemming from ankle problems.
“Earlier today, Tiger Woods underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture,” the statement said.
“It was performed by Dr Martin O’Malley at HSS Sports Medicine Institute in New York City. He has determined the surgery to be successful.
“Tiger Woods is currently recovering and looks forward to beginning his rehabilitation.”
Tiger Woods, making just his second start of the year in The Masters, battled cold and wet conditions to close a second-round 74 on Saturday morning and secure a record-equalling 23rd consecutive cut in the tournament.
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He snuck through on the cut mark of three over, despite bogeying his final two holes, with Woods falling further behind after a nightmare start to his third round.
Woods looked in physical discomfort as he made two bogeys and two double-bogeys over his first seven holes, leaving the former world No 1 on nine over for the tournament and bottom of the leaderboard by three shots.
He subsequently elected against returning to play what would have been an extended Sunday for him and has only completed 72 holes twice since career-threatening leg injuries in a car crash in February 2021.
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Tiger Woods withdrew from the Hero World Challenge last November with plantar fasciitis too, although played at the PNC Championship later that month and featured at February’s Genesis Invitational.
“Every year from here going forward is to play in all the majors – I am not going to play too much more than that,” Woods previously said.
He is next scheduled to feature at the PGA Championship, an event he has won four times, although it remains to be seen whether he will be fit to feature at Oak Hill Country Club from May 18-21.
Tiger Woods surgery explained
In a lengthy thread of tweets, Mallon, an orthopaedic surgeon, explained: “Tiger will be in either a cast, a splint, or a boot for a period of time – its at the surgeon’s discretion. He will likely get around using a rolling stroller, in which you rest your knee on a padded surface, bend your knee, and that leg will roll along.
“It usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months for the fusion to take effect, and Tiger will have limited weight-bearing during that time, which again will be at the surgeon’s discretion, and also depends on how the fusion is healing.
“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.
“Can he play golf well again? Depends on your definition of well. He’ll never be the Tiger of 2000 or even 2015. The fact that this is his right foot/ankle is the saving grace, as you need motion in your left foot/ankle as you roll over it near impact.’
In a separate tweet, Mallon said he was surprised Woods cited plantar fasciitis as the cause of his Masters withdrawal, adding that arthritis – which was referenced in the Woods statement after his surgery – would likely have caused him more pain at Augusta.
“The plantar fasciitis explanation at Augusta surprised me given the degree he was limping,’ Mallon said. ‘It’s painful but nothing like midfoot/hindfoot arthritis, which I suspect was the source of most of his pain. They could also be related.”