Woods could be sidelined for six months, says surgeon

Fatiha Betscher

Tiger Woods at the 2023 Masters Tournament (Image: Masters Media)

Disappointedly, the news just gets worse for Tiger Woods.

No sooner were we reading a statement on Wednesday that the 15-time major winner underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address issues caused by a previous fracture of his talus – a bone in the ankle joint.

And now we are learning he could be sidelined from any competition for “at least” six months after having ankle surgery, according to an orthopaedic surgeon and former professional golfer.


Woods is already set to miss next month’s PGA Championship with this latest news no doubt seeing him sidelined from June’s US Open in Los Angeles and July’s 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool , where Woods won amid highly emotional scenes in 2006, in capturing a third Claret Jug.

Dr Bill Mallon, an orthopaedic surgeon and former PGA Tour player, wrote on Twitter: “It usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months for the fusion to take effect, and Tiger will have limited weight-bearing during that time, which again will be at the surgeon’s discretion, and also depends on how the fusion is healing.

“Can he play golf again? Yes, but that’s at least 6 months to a year in the future. His tournaments for 2023 are likely over, and I would not be surprised to not see him play again until Augusta 2024.

“Can he play golf well again? Depends on your definition of well. He’ll never be the Tiger of 2000 or even 2015.

“The fact that this is his right foot/ankle is the saving grace, as you need motion in your left foot/ankle as you roll over it near impact.”

A statement posted on Woods’ social media channels on Wednesday read: “Earlier today, Tiger underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address his post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture.

“It was performed by Dr Martin O’Malley at HSS Sports Medicine Institute in New York City. He has determined the surgery to be successful.

“Tiger is currently recovering and looks forward to beginning his rehabilitation.”

Speaking before Woods released news of his surgery, the R&A was asked about the prospect of the American competing in front of what will be a crowd of 260,000, a record for an Open not at St Andrews.

“Hoylake has a fantastic array of champions, with Tiger and Rory (McIlroy) being the most recent winners and of course we’d love to see Tiger back here in July,” said an R & A spokesman

“We’ll have to wait and see how he is, but he makes a huge difference to any championship he’s in and we’d love to see him here.”

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