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Tiger Woods' reps say he's 'awake and recovering' from major surgery to leg, ankle and foot

February 24, 2021

Tiger Woods' car sits on the side of the road after his rollover crash on Tuesday morning.

Wally Skalij

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods is “awake, responsive and recovering” after undergoing emergency surgery following a car accident on Tuesday morning, according to an update posted by Woods’ camp.

The statement, released on Woods’ social channels, confirms that Woods was involved in a single-car accident this morning in Los Angeles before providing a detailed update on Woods' condition.

Our Daniel Rapaport provides an update on what we know about Tiger Woods' accident and his condition in the video below: 

“Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center,” said Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, as part of the update.

“Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”

Comminuted fractures refers to bone fragments or splinters.

The statement concludes: “There are no further updates at this time and we continue to thank you for your well-wishes and privacy for him and his family.”

Woods was the sole occupant of a 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV when he headed northbound on a downhill, curving portion of Hawthorne Ave., a two-lane road in Rancho Palos Verdes. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Woods was driving at a “relatively greater speed than normal” when his vehicle crossed onto the wrong side of the road before veering off the road entirely and onto a hillside at 7:12 a.m. local time. A neighbor called 911 to alert authorities of the accident, and Woods was conscious when they arrived on the scene.

This is the latest in a long history of injuries for Woods, a 15-time major champion and 82-time PGA Tour winner. He last competed alongside his son at the PNC Championship, which wrapped up on Dec. 20 in Orlando. He then underwent a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching a nerve and was hoping to return in time for the Masters in April. It was his fifth back surgery overall and the first since his spinal fusion in April 2017. Woods has also had four surgeries done on his left knee, most recently in August 2019.

On Sunday, Woods spoke with CBS’ Jim Nantz as part of his hosting duties for the Genesis Invitational, and said he was awaiting the results of an upcoming MRI before he could ramp up practicing and training for a return to competition. This, of course, re-sets the timeline for any possible return to the golf course.

Woods, 45, was in California for a two-day content shoot with Golf Digest/GOLFTV after serving as host for the Genesis Invitational, which finished on Sunday. Pictures surfaced on social media of Woods smiling with Dwayne Wade and David Spade at Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday, but with his movement still restricted from the microdiscectomy back procedure he had just a few months ago, he did not hit balls or play any holes. The shoot involved Woods giving on-course lessons to a number of celebrities, but he mostly provided instruction and hit a few putts. He was in good spirits on Monday but did not arrive to the course for the second day of shooting.