If you were watching Tiger Woods at Bay Hill at the Masters, you may have noticed him limping, especially as he walked up the final hole at Augusta (which is more uphill than it appears on TV, mind you). On Tuesday Tiger announced on his website that he’s withdrawn from the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow due to injuries he sustained at the Masters several weeks ago. He suffered “a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot from the pine straw under the Eisenhower tree left of the fairway at No. 17 during the third round of the Masters,” according to the statement. Props to the TigerWoods.com staff for finding an action shot of exactly where he hurt himself.
Tiger has undergone cold water therapy and will have soft tissue treatment later this week.
“I personally contacted tournament officials and expressed my regret in not being able to play,” Woods said on his official website. “This is an outstanding event, but I must follow doctors’ orders to get better.”
He also posted a tweet on the news.
The current injured left knee is the same one that’s been been operated on four times, including after the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines when he was sidelined for eight months. He also revealed at the 2010 Masters that he tore his right Achilles heel during the rehab process, which led to blood-spinning treatments from the controversial Dr. Anthony Galea (who was indicted with five counts of drug-smuggling-related charges last October).
Speculation regarding Tiger’s health has been tossed around in the media, particularly in attempts to explain his mediocre play since his fall from grace in November 2009, along with his swing changes. At his pre-Masters press conferences, he alluded to revamping his swing due to the wear and tear he’s experienced in the past.
“First of all, I can’t swing that way (like I did in 2000),” said Woods. “It took a pretty good pounding on me knee doing it that way. As you know I tore cartilage and my ACL over the years, so I don’t want to swing that way. It’s too much pain.”
Tiger didn’t set a precise timeline for when he’d return to competition after these “minor injuries,” but he hopes to be back in “a few weeks.” Which doesn’t sound optimistic that he’ll be ready in time for The Players, which is held the second week in May.