Tiger Woods says surgically-repaired ankle is pain-free, but there’s a caveat
Tiger Woods’ right ankle, which he severely injured in a 2021 car crash before fusing in April, is no longer hindering him.
“My ankle is fine,” Woods told the Associated Press’ Doug Ferguson. “Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever. That pain is completely gone. It’s the other areas that have been compensated for.”
Woods spoke to the AP just before he announced the name and ownership of his team in his new TGL mixed-reality golf league, which debuts in January.
Woods said he’s not completely pain-free in his right leg, however, comparing his condition to when he had his spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.
“All the surrounding areas is where I had all my problems, and I still do,” he said. “So you fix one, others have to become more hypermobile to get around it, and it can lead to some issues.”
Woods did not comment on when and if he plans to return to competitive golf. The 15-time major winner, who turns 48 next month, was at the World Wide Technology Championship last week, which was the first PGA Tour event held at one of his designs, El Cardonal at Diamante.
That’s the closest he’s been to competitive golf since he withdrew from the 2023 Masters midway through a dreary third round after making the cut for the second consecutive year. Woods has played five PGA Tour events since a devastating single-car crash in February 2021 nearly cost him his right leg.
A few days after pulling out of Augusta, he underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to alleviate pain from an arthritic condition that developed after his previous surgeries.
That left Woods out of the public eye for most of the spring and summer until this fall when videos of him hitting shots once again surfaced. Woods didn’t speak to any media last week during his appearance at El Cardonal, but Stewart Cink told Golf Channel the two spoke and Woods was in “go-mode.”
Woods didn’t stick around in Cabo long because, by the weekend, he was caddying for his son, Charlie, at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship. Woods walked and carried the bag all 18 holes, three days in a row. Videos of him walking off the tee went viral.
“I’m pretty sore after caddying for four days,” Woods said. “It was a flat course, thank God.”
Woods still has the option of playing in his own tournament, the Hero World Challenge, at the end of this month. He announced 19 of the 20 participants for the elite-player field in the Bahamas, but left the final position open for a “TBA Tournament Exemption.” Woods did the same thing last year, before adding himself to the field, only to withdraw Monday of tournament week due to a case of plantar fasciitis.
At the end of 2022, Woods played in the PNC Championship with Charlie for the third year in a row. That event is two weeks after the Hero this year, and Woods has an advantage he won’t have anywhere else on the PGA Tour: use of a cart.