The following is a media release from Mark Steinberg, agent for Tiger Woods at IMG.
... Doctors assure Woods that long-term prognosis is very good with rehabilitation and training
Just days after winning the 2008 U.S. Open in a dramatic sudden-death playoff, Tiger Woods announced that he will be forced to undergo reconstructive Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery on his left knee and will miss the remainder of the PGA TOUR season.
In addition to the knee surgery, Woods will require the time off to rehabilitate a double stress fracture of his left tibia that was discovered last month just prior to the Memorial Tournament. The stress fractures were attributed to Woods' intense rehabilitation and preparations for the U.S. Open. Doctors have assured Woods that the stress fractures will heal with time.
"I know much was made of my knee throughout the last week, and it was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at an appropriate time. I wanted to be very respectful of the USGA and their incredibly hard work, and make sure the focus was on the U.S. Open," said Woods. "Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee."
A date for the knee surgery, as well as the necessary rehabilitation schedule, has not yet been determined.
"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy," said Woods. "My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects."
Woods originally ruptured the ACL in 2007 following The Open Championship when he was running at his home in Orlando. At that point, he elected to not have surgery, and instead attempted to play through the pain. Following the injury, Woods went on to win five of the next six events he entered, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the PGA Championship, the BMW Championship, the TOUR Championship and the Target World Challenge, while also finishing second at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He carried that streak over into 2008, winning his first four events of the season, the Buick Invitational, the Dubai Desert Classic, WGC-Accenture Match Play and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
In the fall of 2007, Woods decided to forego a number of playing opportunities to allow the knee time to heal in preparation for the 2008 season. He still experienced pain early in 2008, however, and in an effort to allow him to play through the remainder of the season, elected to have arthroscopic surgery immediately following the Masters to clean out cartilage damage. The cartilage damage in fact developed as a result of the ACL injury, and Woods' hope was that the arthroscopic surgery would get him through the remainder of the season and allow him to delay the ACL surgery until after the season.
"My rehabilitation schedule after the arthroscopic surgery was designed with the goal of returning to play at the Memorial, but the stress fractures that were discovered just prior to the tournament unfortunately prevented me from participating and had a huge impact on the timing for my return," said Woods. "I was determined though, to do everything and anything in my power to play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which is a course that is close to where I grew up and holds many special memories for me. Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament."
Tiger Woods, ranked number one in the world on the Official World Golf Ranking and leading the 2008 PGA Tour Money Leaders list, has 65 PGA TOUR victories to his credit, including 14 major championships, ranking him third all-time in wins, just eight behind Jack Nicklaus and 17 behind the all-time leader Sam Snead. This past week, Woods also celebrated his 500th week as the number one ranked player in the world, a position he first attained eleven years ago on June 15, 1997.
"I would like to thank my fans and partners for their continual support and can assure everyone that I will be as dedicated to rehabilitating my knee as I am in all other aspects of my career," said Woods.
Updates on Woods' surgical and rehabilitation timelines will be provided at a later date once a schedule has been finalized.