Woods' surgery just a 'clean-up'

NEW YORK • A season that began with Tiger Woods celebrating a fifth Masters title ended with a fifth surgery on his left knee.

But this one was not serious.

He tweeted on Tuesday he had arthroscopic surgery last week to repair what he described as "minor cartilage damage".

Vern Cooley, the orthopaedist who performed the surgery, said in a statement Woods released on social media that he looked at the rest of the knee and found no additional problems.

"I'm walking now and hope to resume practice in the next few weeks," the 43-year-old golfer said, adding he anticipated travelling to Japan in October for a planned Skins Game exhibition and the ZoZo Championship in October.

Mark Steinberg, his agent at Excel Sports, described the knee as little more than "irritating".

"It was bothering him, but arthroscopic these days is different than we had years and years ago," Steinberg said. "He's up and walking now. This will have no effect on the fall or winter."

He added this surgery was just "more clean-up maintenance".

Woods had already undergone four surgeries on his left knee by 2008, the last of which ended his season after he won the US Open.

The 15-time Major champion has a light schedule the rest of the year. After Japan in late October, he will play the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December before captaining the United States team at the Presidents Cup in Australia. He remains undecided about playing as a captain's pick.

Woods has also dealt primarily with back issues the last six years.

He had the first of four back surgeries in 2014, and the last one to fuse his lower spine in 2017 when he feared he might never compete again.

He returned a year later and capped his comeback with a victory in last year's Tour Championship.

Woods also delivered the most memorable week of the golfing year in April at Augusta National where he won the Masters.

But that was his lone highlight.

He missed the cut in the PGA Championship and the British Open and was never a factor in the Memorial or the US Open.

He withdrew after the opening round of The Northern Trust to start the FedEx Cup play-offs, and he failed to reach this year's season-ending Tour Championship.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2019, with the headline 'Woods' surgery just a 'clean-up''. Print Edition | Subscribe