What’s the verdict? Will Tiger play again? Doctors Predict a Difficult Recovery.
The serious lower leg injuries Tiger Woods sustained in a car crash on Tuesday typically lead to a long and perilous recovery, calling into question his ability to play professional golf again, according to medical experts who have treated similar injuries.
Athletes with severe leg injuries thought to doom their careers have managed to come back — the quarterback Alex Smith returned to playing football last season after a gruesome leg break, and the golfer Ben Hogan returned decades ago after a car accident.
But Woods’s injuries are more extensive, and his path to recovery is strewn with serious obstacles. Infections, inadequate bone healing and, in Woods’s case, previous injuries and chronic back problems may make a monthslong or even yearslong recovery more difficult, and may reduce the chances that he will play again.
In the accident near Los Angeles, Woods’s lower right leg was smashed and his right foot severely injured, and his leg muscles swelled so much that surgeons had to cut open the tissue covering them to relieve pressure, Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center, where Woods, 45, was treated, wrote in a Twitter message posted on Woods’s account.