Tiger goes un­der knife again

The Prince George Citizen - - Sports -

A sea­son that be­gan with Tiger Woods cel­e­brat­ing a fifth Mas­ters ti­tle ended with a fifth surgery on his left knee. This one wasn’t se­ri­ous.

Woods said Tues­day on Twit­ter he had arthro­scopic surgery last week to re­pair what he de­scribed as mi­nor car­ti­lage dam­age. In a state­ment Woods re­leased on so­cial me­dia, Dr. Vern Coo­ley said he looked at the rest of the knee and found no ad­di­tional prob­lems.

“I’m walk­ing now and hope to re­sume prac­tice in the next few weeks,” Woods said, adding that he looked for­ward to trav­el­ling to Ja­pan in Oc­to­ber for a planned Skins Game ex­hi­bi­tion and the ZoZo Cham­pi­onship on Oct. 24-27.

Mark Stein­berg, his agent at Excel Sports, de­scribed the knee as lit­tle more than “ir­ri­tat­ing.”

“It was both­er­ing him, but arthro­scopic these days is dif­fer­ent than we had years and years ago,” Stein­berg said. “He’s up and walk­ing now. This will have no ef­fect on the fall or win­ter.”

Woods has a light sched­ule the rest of the year – Ja­pan in late Oc­to­ber, his Hero World Chal­lenge in the Ba­hamas the first week of De­cem­ber and then the Pres­i­dents Cup at Royal Mel­bourne in Aus­tralia.

He is the U.S. cap­tain and could play as a cap­tain’s pick. He won’t have to make that de­ci­sion un­til a week af­ter the Ja­pan event.

Woods has dealt pri­mar­ily with back is­sues the last six years.

He had the first of four back surg­eries in the spring of 2014, and the last one in 2017 to fuse his lower spine when it reached a point he feared he might never com­pete again.

He re­turned a year later and capped off his come­back with a vic­tory in the Tour Cham­pi­onship. The fi­nal piece was a ma­jor, and Woods de­liv­ered the most mem­o­rable week of the year in April at Au­gusta Na­tional when he won the Mas­ters for his 15th ma­jor.

But that was his lone high­light. He missed the cut in the PGA Cham­pi­onship and the Bri­tish Open and was never a fac­tor in the Memorial or the U.S. Open.

He with­drew af­ter the open­ing round of The North­ern Trust to start the FedEx Cup play­offs, and he failed to reach the Tour Cham­pi­onship.

He said about his health at the BMW Cham­pi­onship that “body-wise it’s the same. If it’s not one thing, it’s an­other. Things just pop up.”

“I’m mak­ing tweaks and changes try­ing to play around this back and try­ing to be explosive and have enough rest time and train­ing time,” he said at Me­d­i­nah. “That’s been the big­gest chal­lenge of it all.”

Woods first had surgery on his left knee as a fresh­man at Stan­ford in 1994 to re­move two be­nign tu­mors and scar tis­sue.

He had arthro­scopic surgery to re­move fluid and cysts af­ter the 2002 sea­son, and an­other af­ter the 2008 Mas­ters to re­pair car­ti­lage dam­age.

Two months later, af­ter win­ning the 2008 U.S. Open, he had re­con­struc­tive surgery to re­pair his ACL.

Stein­berg de­scribed this surgery as “more cleanup main­te­nance.”

AP PHOTO

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the ninth hole dur­ing the third round of the BMW Cham­pi­onship golf tour­na­ment at the Me­d­i­nah Coun­try Club in Me­d­i­nah, Ill. on Aug. 17.

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