Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tiger done for season

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - Tiger Woods has decided to undergo season-ending reconstructive left knee surgery.

The Golf Channel first reported that Woods needed ACL surgery to get back to 100 percent and he confirmed the news on his Web site.

"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," Woods said. "My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects."

In addition to the knee surgery, Woods also revealed he will require the time off to rehabilitate a double stress fracture of his left tibia that was discovered prior to the Memorial Tournament last month. The stress fractures were attributed to Woods' rehabilitation from previous arthroscopic knee surgery and preparations for the U.S. Open.

"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."

Woods beat Rocco Mediate on the 91st hole of the U.S. Open on Monday, ending an instant-classic major championship with a par at the 19th hole of a playoff.

"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 the appropriate time," Woods said "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. Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee."

The world's No. 1 player made a birdie to send the scheduled 18-hole playoff into sudden-death, then needed only a routine par at the next hole after Mediate bounced a bunker shot off the cart path and against the bleachers.

It brought to an end one of the longest U.S. Opens in history and gave Woods his 14th major championship, second all-time to Jack Nicklaus, who has 18.

"For an athlete as talented and competitive as Tiger Woods, taking the rest of the season off must have been an incredibly difficult, yet necessary decision, one that we understand and support completely," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said. "The fact that he needs additional surgery only makes his performance and victory at last week's U.S. Open all the more impressive.

"First and foremost, our concern -- as it would be for any of our players facing surgery or illness -- is for Tiger's health and overall well-being, both on and off the golf course. We wish him the best toward a speedy recovery."

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