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Tiger Woods will miss the rest of the 2008 golf season

This was just reported at Woods website.

Tiger Woods announced that he will be forced to undergo reconstructive Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee and will miss the remainder of the PGA TOUR season. In addition to the knee surgery, Woods will require the time off to rehabilitate a double stress fracture of his left tibia that was discovered last month just prior to the Memorial Tournament. The stress fractures were attributed to Woods' intense rehabilitation and preparations for the U.S. Open. Doctors have assured Woods that the stress fractures will heal with time.

"I know much was made of my knee throughout the last week, and it was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at an appropriate time. I wanted to be very respectful of the USGA and their incredibly hard work, and make sure the focus was on the U.S. Open," said Woods. "Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee."

A date for the knee surgery, as well as the necessary rehabilitation schedule, has not yet been determined.

"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy," said Woods. "My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects."

I don't know whether to say it was incredible that Woods played with a ACL injury and a double stress fracture to his left tibia last weekend or that Woods was nuts to play in that condition. He got the US Open trophy, I just hope Woods is right and no permanent harm was done. We won't know that for sure till 2009 at the earliest.

Wizbang readers feel free to tell me if I should knucklehead two-time US Open champ Retief Goosen who said last week if Tiger was faking the extent of any pain he was feeling 'I think so. It just seemed that when he hit a bad shot his knee was in pain and on his good shots he wasn't in pain. You see when he made the putts and he went down on his knees and was shouting, 'Yeah', his knee wasn't sore.' Right now I'm inclined to give Retief the award.

Hat tip- Ryan at GNN for the Retief Goosen quote


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Comments (39)

Who says golfers aren't tou... (Below threshold)

Who says golfers aren't tough.

OK, maybe just one of them.

Anybody care to argue that this wasn't the greatest US Open ever.

Didn't think so!

Tiger grew up with wanting ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Tiger grew up with wanting to surpass Nicklaus as the greatest golfer of all time. After this info and in light of what he did this past weekend, I liken him more to Hogan. Up till now I believed Hogan was the toughest golf has ever seen.

I think you should knuckleh... (Below threshold)

I think you should knucklehead Tiger Woods for waiting nearly a year to properly repair a ruptured ACL. Now his knee is worse, his tibia has stress fractures, and he may have prematurely ended his career as a result.

So, to be clear, Woods won ... (Below threshold)

So, to be clear, Woods won the US Open (handily save an amazing run by a kid) with a torn ACL after not playing for a few months? Look, I know he's good, but how do you really measure the historical quality of an athlete that's not competing against anybody?

Falze:Who's the ki... (Below threshold)

Falze:

Who's the kid you're referring to? Rocco Mediate is 45 years old. :-)

bad typage, Tom :) meant t... (Below threshold)

bad typage, Tom :) meant to say 'guy' came out 'kid'...darn those fingers!

No problem...I have the sam... (Below threshold)

No problem...I have the same problem sometimes. I was hoping you meant kid since I'll be 42 in August! ;-)

I agree with Tom. Forget g... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

I agree with Tom. Forget giving the knucklehead award to Goosen, it should go to Tiger. He let self-interests to get in the way of his health. And don't think that Retief is the only one who was thinking that about Tiger, he's just the only one who said it.

Heck, who knew that just wa... (Below threshold)

Heck, who knew that just walking around on some golf course could cause a knee injury. In order to injure my right knee I had to have a serious motorbike crash in April at about 30mph in city traffic when I got caught in a sudden flurry of hail and couldn't safely brake and skidded out of control and rolled my bike and got thrown hard and rolled and tossed for about 20-25 feet on the pavement, smelling of gas and bleeding despite wearing full motorcycle gear including body armor. I quickly got up, and pushed my bike aside to the curb so that traffic could proceed by, and after calling for a tow for the bike which I bent the steel frame on, drove myself to the hospital emergency room.

And allow me to clarify, co... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

And allow me to clarify, considering that Tiger's health, one would think, would also be part of his self-interests. It would appear he put material gain and self-gratification over his own heatlh concerns.

Umm... wouldn't self-gratif... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Umm... wouldn't self-gratification and material gain be better served by a lengthy career?

I read somewhere that the guy doesn't much care for the sport; doesn't much care for the culture of it; and would be very happy to take his trillion dollars and never have to pretend to get along with Phil Mickelson ever again.

So which is getting more re... (Below threshold)
Roy:

So which is getting more rest out of this, Tiger's knee or the entire PGA tour?

BFD, playing golf with a ba... (Below threshold)

BFD, playing golf with a bad/torn ACL. I've had one for years, ignored my doctor's advice to get it fixed and I play golf. It's not an injury that precludes playing golf, as Tiger himself proved this past weekend. Sure, it hurts, sometimes more than others, but that is why God invented pain killers.

And for J.R. and any others who say that Tiger was putting his health at risk, (per the medical advice I've been given) once you screw up an ACL, you've pretty much done the damage you are going to do. A torn ACL doesn't get any more torn.

No offense Steve, but you'r... (Below threshold)

No offense Steve, but you're not a PGA tour player and you don't swing the golf club so that the club head travels at 165 mph...with every swing--at least with each tee shot and full swing into the green. You're an amateur who plays for fun, so I'm not impressed with your comparison.

Slow motion video shows that Tiger snaps his formerly bent left knee at impact, which straightens his left knee and entire left leg, and is a move that gives him more power. This is a move he's been trying to eliminate for several years now, and still needs to get rid of, because of the amount of stress it puts on his left knee.

Tiger should've had the ACL repaired last year at the first opportunity, and he knows it. Not doing so allowed his body to create compensatory movements that put stress on other parts of his leg, which obviously now, led to the stress fractures in his tibia.

That's why athletes at the elite level always get the surgery done. Amateurs can get away with not doing it because they're livelihood doesn't depend on it.

Ah but Steve, the further s... (Below threshold)
epador:

Ah but Steve, the further stress on the knee joint does progress and you can set up serious long term disability by either not repairing the full tear or doing "too much" on the knee.

A torn ACL doesn't get a... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

A torn ACL doesn't get any more torn.

Fair point, but what do you think the body does when one of the most important ligaments in the knee joint fails? The body will compensate for that loss in other areas. If you do not allow for that compensation to occur naturally and build-up over time and instead you rush back or ignore it you are putting your health at risk. It's not life threatening obviously, but it can be life altering.

Paul:This is at le... (Below threshold)

Paul:

This is at least the 3rd time that I've seen you write about your motorbike crash and subsequent injury in the comments section here. What does this have to do with Tiger Woods and his injury? Why do you think anybody cares? Perhaps you should pull out all the stops and post a blog entry about your crash, so you can stop clogging up the comment sections about it.

"Heck, who knew that just walking around on some golf course could cause a knee injury."

Congratulations. I'm sure that will stand the test of time as the most ignorant comment on this subject.

Hey Tom, walking around on ... (Below threshold)

Hey Tom, walking around on a golf course and hurting your knee seems pretty sissy-ass of a way to get a knee injury. I can understand hurting a knee like I did, tearing up a steel-framed motorcycle. But I can't understand the Tiger Woods injury. Makes no good sense to me, fellow.

Paul:I stand corre... (Below threshold)

Paul:

I stand corrected. Your last comment (#18) will stand the test of time as the most ignorant comment on this subject.

Let me give you a little hint. Tiger didn't hurt his knee on the golf course, you twit. If you read all the links provided in Bill's blog entry, you'll find out how he injured it.

If you don't care about golf, and you don't care about this subject, why bother commenting on it at all? Do you really enjoy being this big of a buffoon?

Yes Paul, manly men get kne... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Yes Paul, manly men get knee injuries when they can't maintain their balance on their scooter!! All other knee injuries are for sissies!

Tom and J.R., seriously guy... (Below threshold)

Tom and J.R., seriously guys, it just surprises me how a seemingly harmless sport can result in such an injury or even aggravate one. But I remember comic Jack Benny breaking a rib simply rolling over on the ground for a comedy bit, or the actress for the HBO series WEEDS breaking a toe this weekend filming a simulated sex scene. Even my dad wrecked his knees working in a factory.

I watch a lot of motocross motorcycling on TV. I see dramatic crashes that you can understand resulting in injuries like a handlebar slipping under a helmet and breaking a jaw, or a leg tangled up in a heavy bike. I skidded in a sudden unexpected hailstorm on hard pavement myself, not on dirt like the motocross. You just know you're going to screwed up with something like that no matter how much body armor and motorcycle gear you've got on, the only question is just how bad. Motorsports are a bad one for potential injuries. Even in basketball, you see some bad leg extensions, etc. And football is worse yet.

It's just real strange when a person gets hurt some seemingly sissy-ass way, like the actress doing the simu-sex for the HBO show, etc. when it takes some real heavy duty trauma for others. Funny that injuries can happen either way. Kind of scarry too. That's my feelings, take it or leave it.

Paul:You've demons... (Below threshold)

Paul:

You've demonstrated each time you comment you have no idea what you're talking about concerning this subject, have no fundamental understanding of body mechanics and/or golf, and somehow the subject should invariably turn towards your motor scooter accident.

"That's my feelings, take it or leave it."

My choice is to leave them in the big ol' internet dumpster. Obviously.

Bill,By the way, to ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Bill,
By the way, to follow up on your question about knuckleheading Goosen, I think Retief deserves at least a little bit of hassling for his remarks. I attribute some of Woods ability to cope with the knee problem to the intense physical training regimen he apparently adheres to outside of those times when he's actually hitting balls. For example, jogging on the beach with 50 lbs. of extra weight strapped to him. Sorenstam is/was also of the same ilk when it came to the intensity of her physical training. If there are any sour feelings about Tiger among his fellow pros, all someone has to do is step up and challenge Tiger on a regular basis and put in the work needed to do it. Phil Mickelson is ranked #2 in the world and he is clearly on most weekends no match for Tiger and I think Mickelson's a pretty good guy.
I am an avid golf fan but I understand those who see no need for it. I agree with Mr. Hoosen that golf is pretty harmelss but harmless is not strictly correlative with difficulty (at least in my experience). But Mr. Hoosen also has to accept that Tiger did not injure himself playing golf. And if you have any desire to be consistently successful on the Tour a bad knee or hip is a significant liability.

Tom Blogical - "Do you ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Tom Blogical - "Do you really enjoy being this big of a buffoon?"

Tom, please tell me that was a rhetorical question?

Hooson wallows in playing the buffoon as a pig wallows in the mud.

Marc:"Tom, plea... (Below threshold)

Marc:

"Tom, please tell me that was a rhetorical question?"

Yeah, pretty much. Which is why I was careful to say "no offense" to Steve Sturm, and didn't care whether I offended Hooson or not.

DaveD:

Yeah, I think Goosen should be hassled as well. Tiger is known for being tight-lipped about everything, so since Goosen didn't know what was going on, he would've been better off not saying anything at all. I will admit I wondered whether Woods was playing it up a little bit myself during the tourney, but it's obvious now that wasn't the case.

I'm shocked--SHOCKED--that ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I'm shocked--SHOCKED--that a white South African would say something derogatory about an Cablinasian who is light years better than him at the one thing he aspires to do well at.

Tom and Marc, as even a gra... (Below threshold)

Tom and Marc, as even a grade school kid in fifth grade, I was into weight training and could leg lift 330lbs. as a kid and I later worked out at Loprenzi's Gym in Portland where many local prowrestlers worked out when Ididn't use my home gym equipment . This helped me in college handball, or for track or basketball, by having decent leg strength and stronger ligaments and muscles. I used to consume either about a gallon of milk a day, sometimes with Tiger Shake, high protein supplement, etc. If you're into golf or other sports, then what's your weight training routine?

I just wonder if Tiger would have had a similiar weight training routine beyond his other weight training if his ligaments would have been stronger.

I did have a friend who attended my church who worked out with some future professional basketball players like Damon Stoudemire, but his potential career as a pro ended with an achilles tendon rip. Some bad sports injuries just happen to even good athletes.

Tiger is the first golfer s... (Below threshold)

Tiger is the first golfer since Gary Player to train physically like basketball, football or track athletes. Other golfers have generally had the attitude that such training was not only not helpful, but harmful to maintaining excellent golf skills. That his injury came from that form of training is ironic.

But even with that physical training, and an impressive physique he is not the longest hitter on the tour, nor the most accurate. He is not the best putter. He does not have the best short game. But when the chips are down, he can hit nearly any shot and can recover from adversity as well as anyone, and cuts his losses when necessary.

He is also the best pressure player in the history of the sport. His dad, a Green Beret, trained his psyche from infancy to be able to perform under pressure. His dad succeeded.

His unexcelled discipline, concentration, playing in the moment, and sheer determination were all in full display last weekend.

It was a compelling athletic accomplishment and I am glad I was able to see it.

There will always be a nitw... (Below threshold)
GianniD:

There will always be a nitwit or 5 to try to spilt the party.

What Tiger did is NO different than what many other pro athletes do, suck it up as they work towards their goal. CLowns will call it selfish, most call it commitment. Its impossible to calculate how many hockey players have surgery or other medical procedures after the playoffs are done, becuase they chose to play through the pain, working towards the ultimate prize.

Heard a stat today that I may not get right. Tiger has won 9 of the 11 events he entered since injuring his knee. He came in 2nd in the other 2. And, none of his 'real competition' has ever beat him in a major when they were 'head to head', 1 & 2, on the leader board. The guys that have beat him have collectively won ZERO OTHER MAJORS.

"If you're into golf or ... (Below threshold)

"If you're into golf or other sports, then what's your weight training routine?"

I use a cyclic/interval 50 day boxing-based routine that maximizes results between high speed conditioning, maximal strength, strength endurance, explosive strength and reactive strength. It's 4 days on, 1 day off throughout the 50 days, with backoff weeks incorporated. There is a week or two of rest between the 50 day sessions. I've tweaked the program here and there to incorporate the movements of the golf swing. This program mostly targets the anaerobic and ATP-PC and glycolytic energy systems, and targets the aerobic energy system slightly less than the other two.

This is a program I intend to recommend to my golf clients when I start my Personal Training business.

"I just wonder if Tiger would have had a similiar weight training routine beyond his other weight training if his ligaments would have been stronger."

Tiger Woods is worth nearly $1 billion, and has been very wealthy for quite some time now. He started a fitness routine, recommended by the best Fitness and Strength coaches that money can buy, that rival any of the elite fitness programs in any other sport. He is the same size and is just as fit as any NFL safety you'll find. I'm confident in saying his ligaments and muscles were trained properly. He injured his ACL the same way everyone else does. He put the ligament in a position it wasn't able to handle.

Just more proof that anyone... (Below threshold)

Just more proof that anyone can get hurt and should work on their knee exercises to prevent this kind of injury. Just a few simple exercises a few times a day increase flexibility and strength in your knee and awareness of yourself and how you move can prevent ACL injuries.

Some observations:... (Below threshold)

Some observations:

Tiger Woods is the best golfer of all time. While Mickelson is very near to him on talent, he is not even in the same galaxy when it comes to drive and intensity of focus. This is not a value judgment for or against either one, it is just reality. Phil and Tiger are different, yet both wildly successful and generous people.

Tiger will never equal Jack Nicklaus' record of second place finishes in majors (19 I believe). Tiger will retire by 40 or earlier with the majors victory record in the low 20's. Nobody will ever approach Jack's total of 1st's and 2nd's in majors, showing how valuable his longevity was to his success. He was actually one of the few who did conditioning like Player back in his day.

Finally, I predict I will quickly grow sick of people lamenting how golf ratings on TV will go down without Tiger. Frankly, I don't care. Tournaments are more fun to watch without him there, because we actually get to see other players. I will watch any golf there is on TV, and that's all that matters to me. If the casual fans tune out, it will not affect me in the least.

When I tore my ACL in colle... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

When I tore my ACL in college the doctor told me I'd be OK without it assuming I rehabed and strengthened all the muscles around it. In the 80's ACL reconstructions were usually for pro (and college) athletes only. I did the rehab and went without it for many months. The problem was that every so often I would get the pivot shift or some locking and I'd just be in pain. Given the possibility of living a life without that hassle I sucked in up and demanded the surgery and did the full year of rehab. Twenty years later it's still stands in my eyes as an excellent decision as I play 10 hours of full court basketball a week with no knee issues.

Tom, people are active on t... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Tom, people are active on torn ACL's all the time. NFL players regularly play with them, wearing a brace. Tiger was clearly under the supervision of top doctors the whole while and was assured no further damage would be done. Personally, I speak from experience, I tore my ACL completely in 1993 playing lacrosse, in order to not miss a season at the collegiate level, I played 4 years of NCAA lacrosse and hockey with only a brace, no surgery. I then played another 8 years of men's league hockey before finally getting a cadaver ligament ACL replacement in 2004. The whole time I was surfing, snowboarding, bike riding and yes, golfing. Sure, if you tear your ACL and are lazy, then your hips, other leg etc... could suffer. But being active and effectively doing pre-surgical rehab (aka, working out) can get you by for quite a while without doing any permanent damage. Woods' doctors have even said so, which is why he was playing in the first place.

Kevin, you are absolutely c... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Kevin, you are absolutely correct, if you work up the muscles around it you can go about your business, I did it myself as I just noted. What surgery did you get? I am glad I waited so long as the cadaver procedures weren't the more popular route until recently, the patellar tendon procedure was, and if you talk to most people that had that surgery, they ended up getting another. The cadaver ligament has proven to be a quicker rehab and a stronger fix.

"Tom, people are active ... (Below threshold)

"Tom, people are active on torn ACL's all the time."

I realize this, and never implied people can't be. Tiger was active for a year with a ruptured ACL.

My point is, as should have been clear, the compensatory movements are disastrous. It's part of the reason Woods has two stress fractures in his left tibia. This is an undeniable fact. My second point is, he's injured worse now than when he was last year, and as a result, he's unnecessarily risked his career by not taking care of it right away.

D-Hoggs:I actually... (Below threshold)

D-Hoggs:

I actually think we agree more on this issue than you might believe.

"...can get you by for quite a while..."

That's the money quote. I never stated you can't get by for a while, and this was something I assumed everyone was already aware of. This is also why, if you're a professional athlete, you should get it taken care of immediately to prevent further injury, IMHO.

I see what you're saying To... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

I see what you're saying Tom, my point is that I believe you are going overboard with calling Woods a knucklehead for continuing to play and claiming that he may have prematurely ended his career. None of his injuries are career anding, zero, zip, nada. Woods is an athlete, playing through pain is what they do, no matter what the sport. I would never fault him for playing through, especially knowing that he had the best doctors coaching him along the way.

D-Hoggs:Fair enoug... (Below threshold)

D-Hoggs:

Fair enough. I hope he comes back better than ever, but you're right. I do believe he took an unnecessary risk. If it were me, I wouldn't have taken any chances. I'm not worth nearly $1 billion either, so maybe the perspective is a lot different. ;-)




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