Tiger Woods faces 'months and months of recovery,' Palm Beach County doctor says

Golfer shatters bones in right leg with additional injuries in ankle, foot
Posted at 4:36 PM, Feb 24, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Investigators in Southern California said the SUV crash involving Jupiter Island resident and golf legend Tiger Woods was "purely an accident," and no charges will be filed.

However, Woods was seriously injured, and his career is now in jeopardy.

RELATED: Golf world pulls for Tiger Woods after crash

Local residents and golfers are still reacting to the news about one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Matt Bain was on the driving range Wednesday after being inspired by Woods.

"Someone as myself, as a minority, have looked up to [Woods]. I've been playing for 25 years or so. He's meant a lot to me and obviously the game," Bain said.

Tiger Woods SUV involved in crash, California
Tiger Woods suffered serious leg injuries after crashing along a road in Rancho Palos Verdes, a suburb of Los Angeles, on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.

The 15-time major champion is recovering in the hospital after surviving a high-speed rollover car crash Tuesday morning outside Los Angeles.

"As a dad, you hope he's OK. For his kids you want to see him back in the game," Bain said. "I think everyone wants to see him back in the game. He's done so much for the game."

The 45-year-old Jupiter Island resident's SUV was found smashed after the wreck.

Woods underwent emergency surgery on his lower right leg after the bone was broken into more than two parts. The wound was open, leading to a risk of infection.

"[This is a] very serious injury, career-threatening. If it gets infected, all bets are off," said Dr. James Clancy.

Clancy is a reconstructive foot and ankle surgeon at the Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County with 34 years of experience in his field.

Dr. James Clancy, Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County
Dr. James Clancy says Tiger Woods can expect many months of recovery following the serious crash.

"We know that if anybody can come back, it's Tiger, and we hope that he can,” Clancy said.

Doctors also say a rod, screws and pins were inserted to stabilize Woods' tibia, fibula and ankle bones.

Clancy said Tiger was likely also at risk of compartment syndrome, where pressure can build up and cut off blood flow.

"For a professional athlete of his caliber, you're looking at months and months and months of recovery," Clancy said.

Before the crash, Wood was recovering from a recent fifth back surgery.

Now, Bain and many others hoping this is not the end to Woods' storied career.

"It feels a little strange, but I think probably the best thing we can do is pray for him and push the game forward," Bain said. "I think he'd want us all to do that."

Ken Kennerly, the executive director of the Honda Classic, said Woods has not only impacted the game of golf, but the world of sports.

"If there's anyone on the planet that can persevere and shine once again it's Tiger Woods," Kennerly said. "We certainly wish him the very best in recovery and certainly hope and anticipate that we're going to see him back on the competitive circuit here soon."