Tiger Woods offers a hopeful smile standing on the crutches of recovery

Tiger Woods presented an image of himself with a broad smile, standing on a pair of crutches on a practice facility near his home in Jupiter, Florida

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Tiger Woods - Genesis Invitational

24 April 2021: Every small gesture of Tiger Woods has been magnified and demystified by a world in thrall of the great golfer’s imperious skills and mind numbing commitment to excellence. Since suffering a fearful accident in the immediate aftermath of the Genesis Open, the intensity of his injuries and the journey to recovery has been an object of interest, as much of his life has been. The details of his injuries and the nature of his rehab has remained a closely guarded secret. So it was no surprise that the instagram update by Woods on a pair of crutches with his dog next to him has attracted much attention, gaining over half a million likes within the first few hours of its presentation.

Tiger Woods Car Crash - Getty Images
Tiger Woods Car Crash – Getty Images

Already bereft of golf as he was recovering from yet another back surgery, Woods had his car careen off the road before it turned into a crumpled mess. Emergency responders had to extract the golfer out of the car with a broken limb and a shattered ankle. It was in the early hours of 23rd February near Los Angeles, where Woods suffered the unseemly accident.

The investigation into the accident revealed that Tiger was driving at almost twice the speed limit when he lost control of the vehicle, tumbling and rolling over several times before it came to a rest on its side. It took a lengthy surgery to fix a shattered leg and ankle using a rod to stabilise the tibia and screws and pins to secure the ankle.

“My course is coming along faster than I am,” posted Woods. “But it’s nice to have a faithful rehab partner, man’s best friend.”

Woods seemed to suggest that the course he was standing on was doing better than the right foot in a cast. The image is supposed to be from the three hole practice facility Woods is building in his backyard. He also expressed his joy at having a loyal companion to work with him on his rehabilitation – his dog.

The year has been a rough ride for Woods, who was hoping to recover in time for the Masters, where he secured his 15th major title with a famous performance in the presence of his children.

The 45-year-old legend has 82 PGA TOUR titles, the same as Sam Snead.

The details of his injuries and the process of rehabilitation remain unclear. It is not known beyond his personal circle and the physicians attending him, when Tiger might be able to walk again without aid and perhaps return to playing golf. Some experts have suggested that Woods might be able to recover and return to competitive golf after a year or so, but most of this information is based on informed speculation rather than actual knowledge of the injury or the state of the right leg and the ankle.

A few of his fellow golfers have paid visits to Woods – Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas among them. But information remains scarce, making this first post of Woods with an image of himself in recovery a significant communication. The fans continue to hope that Woods can recover and return to competition soon as he is ready for it.