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Tiger Woods' single-car accident has been met with shock around the sports world, and that includes the man in charge of the PGA Tour.
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan addressed Woods' accident with reporters on Wednesday, per ESPN, and admitted he had trouble believing the story when first told:
"I was shocked,'' Monahan said. "I kind of had to sit down and ask the same question I had asked a second time because I wasn't sure I completely heard what I was being told."
Woods' camp released a statement Tuesday announcing that the 15-time major champion is "awake, responsive and recovering" after his accident that morning, but disclosed he had suffered "significant" orthopedic injuries in his right lower leg and ankle requiring emergency surgery. The consequences of that are obvious: Woods, 45, won't be playing competitive golf anytime soon.
Monahan said that as far as he's concerned, the importance of Woods' return to golf is trumped by the health and wellbeing from the man himself.
"I was up all night last night, and I couldn't really focus on anything else,'' Monahan said of Woods' accident. "The only thing that really matters now is his well-being, his recovery, his family, the level of support that we provide to him.
"Listen, when Tiger wants to talk about golf, we'll talk about golf. But I think right now the entirety of our efforts needs to be around the support. When you're going to overcome what he needs to overcome, I think the love of all of our players and everybody out here, it's going to come forward in a big way and across the entire sporting world. I think he'll feel that energy, and I think that's what we should all focus on. We'll all be talking about that at some point down the road, but not right now.''
Tiger Woods facing long road to recovery
According to a statement from the chief medical officer of the hospital treating Woods, Woods sustained compound fractures on his leg and ankle requiring a rod, screws and pins to be inserted along the leg.
Specifically, Woods' tibia and fibula bones both had to be stabilized with the insertion of a rod into the tibia, while the screws and pins were used to stabilize Woods' ankle and foot. Woods also required surgical release of the muscles in the leg to relieve pressure due to swelling from the leg.
In a sport where one partially torn ligament or small fracture of a bone can mean weeks or months away from the golf course, Woods' injuries sound catastrophic. His age does him no favors either, as his frequent injuries over the past several years have shown.
Surgeons told Yahoo Sports that Woods can expect a lengthy rehab, with one speculating Woods will require months of physical therapy just to be able to walk out his front door. Getting back to playing in golf tournaments seems more like a matter of "if," not "when." Worsening the situation is the possibility of infection from the open wounds and that Woods' past treatment for addiction to prescription painkillers could complicate pain management during his treatment.
All of this underscores what Monahan and many others have said. Not only should no one expect Woods to play golf anytime soon, no one should really care as long as he's dealing with a situation like this.
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