It made a few headlines during the build-up to The Masters, but I don’t think it came as a surprise to anyone when Tiger Woods announced that he wasn’t ready to return to action at Augusta. It was only in February that he uploaded a video showing him tentatively swinging an iron on a golf simulator, in a Twitter post entitled “Progressing nicely.”
Progressing nicely. pic.twitter.com/HKnnluR1OW— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) February 24, 2016
Everyone in the world of golf would have been encouraged by this and even if you’re a Tiger fan or not, you cannot deny you would love to see Tiger back on the tour. But if you look back on all his injury problems over the past decade or so, I can’t imagine he will ever be back in good enough shape to challenge for titles again.
He first had problems with his left knee in 2002, but during the late 2000’s the problem got substantially worse. He won the U.S Open in 2008 with a partially torn ACL, but the resulting reconstructive surgery meant he would miss nine months of action. When he returned, he continued to be troubled by that left knee, as well as a persistent neck injury, a straining of his left Achilles and an injury to his elbow, which caused him to withdraw from several tournaments during 2012 and 2013.
Tiger surprisingly withdrew near the end of his final round in the 2014 Honda Classic, citing a lower back spasm as his main problem. He underwent surgery to fix a pinched nerve a few days later and was optimistic about returning to action quickly. But sadly, this was just the start of his back problems. Since then, he has undergone several different kinds of surgery to try and find a quick-fix. He did manage to return to the Tour on a regular basis last year, but he was clearly struggling for form and fitness. He missed the cut in three of the four Majors, managing a Top-20 finish at The Masters.
Soon after the PGA Championship, he was in surgery again, but this time it was a much more serious operation. He hasn’t played since that successful op, but he and his camp remain positive about his rehabilitation. There are plenty of examples where players have recovered from serious injuries and returned to the major-winning circle, which will provide a source of hope for Tiger to draw from.We just hope when he finally gets back on the course, he can remain injury free and be a big part of the PGA Tour.
Although the sport is in a very good place at the moment, with quality and competition at an all-time high, there is no denying that a fit and firing Tiger Woods would be the cherry on top of the golfing cake.