Talk about a Friday evening news dump! Between my recent travels/adventures and then catching a bug on the flight home earlier this week, I’ve been pretty checked out lately. Before kicking off the weekend, I decided to take a quick gander at Twitter and out of nowhere (at least it felt that way), a tweet from Tiger Woods pops up revealing that he had undergone back surgery.
Wait…WHAT? I had to read it about a dozen times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating (let’s just say I’m a little out of it from getting treatment for my own chronic back problems this afternoon).
Not again. Yep, again. But, I mean, wasn’t he just recovering from the first one (in March 2014)?
So, according to Tiger’s website, he had a second successful microdiscectomy surgery on Wednesday, which was performed by Dr. Charles Rich, a neurosurgeon in Park City, Utah.
“Tiger Woods underwent a microdiscectomy late on Sept. 16 at Park City Medical Center,” Dr. Rich said. “With the upcoming offseason, the decision was made to remove a small disc fragment that was pinching his nerve. The microsurgery was a complete success, and he was discharged Thursday night.”
While the procedure went well, Woods will (once again) be sidelined for the rest of 2015 as he rests and rehabilitates. He hopes to return in early 2016.
The suddenness of this news is interesting since just last week, he “officially” confirmed his commitment to play the Frys.com Open, the PGA Tour’s 2015-16 season opener, in mid-October. Woods will also have to skip the Bridgestone America’s Golf Cup presented by Value in Mexico City and the Hero World Challenge at Albany in the Bahamas — where he plays tournament host to the 18-man exhibition, with the proceeds benefiting his foundation.
Tiger felt some discomfort in the back and hip area the last few weeks, including at the Wyndham Championship. To reporters on-site at Greensboro, Woods looked like he was in pain during the third round of the tournament.
Q. Back-9 there was a few times it looked like you grabbed at your back. Was there ever an issue with that in?
TIGER WOODS: It’s not my back, no.
Q. Can you say what it is?
TIGER WOODS: Just my hip.
When he was examined, it was apparently clear that the pain was coming from his back and he “elected to have surgery quickly in order to return to the PGA Tour as soon as possible.”
Woods will start the recovery process with “intensive” rehabilitation and soft tissue treatment in the next week. Doesn’t it feel like he hasn’t yet bounced back from the last surgery? I mean, he talked about enduring the somewhat long process quite a bit this past year, especially toward the end of the summer. Well, here we go again, I guess.
“This is certainly disappointing, but I’m a fighter,” Woods said. “I’ve been told I can make a full recovery, and I have no doubt that I will.”
This is obviously yet another hiccup in Tiger’s quest to
break the top-250 in the world rankings return to form in better years. Of course we’d all like to see him capture that elusive 15th major (or just win any event), but after what we saw from him early this season (or didn’t see), for the first time, I started to think that wasn’t going to happen. And from what I saw as the year progressed — and more unfortunate news like this pops up — I’m increasingly convinced it won’t happen. I hope he makes me eat my words, but as someone who deals with chronic back problems, it doesn’t get any easier and playing golf doesn’t exactly help things.
In the 18 months between Tiger’s two microdiscectomy surgeries: –16 tournament starts –6 missed cuts –2 withdrawals –1 top-10 finish
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) September 18, 2015