April 26, 2011
Remember Tiger Woods' charge on the front nine in Augusta? Impressive stuff, right? He erased a seven-shot deficit and briefly held a share of the lead.
Turns out it was an even more notable achievement than we'd previously thought, as Woods revealed Tuesday on his website that he'd injured his left knee and tendon the day before. While hitting that shot depicted above out of the pine straw on No. 17 at Augusta, Woods "suffered a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon."
The injury will keep him out of next week's Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, and potentially also The Players Championship the week afterward. At the moment, surgery is not in the cards; Woods will simply rest the knee and use cold-water therapy to improve.
Was this responsible for Woods losing steam in the back nine of Augusta? Maybe, maybe not. It obviously didn't hurt him enough to keep him from a trip to China last week, and it's not serious enough to warrant surgery at the moment.
Still, it's another reminder that Woods is nowhere near invulnerable, and that time may be a greater opponent than any other. Recall his 2008 knee injury; while he came back from that and won several tournaments, he's taken down no majors since then. There's no reason he can't win more in the future, but it's yet another setback for a guy who already has more than enough.