Tiger Woods has suffered several serious fractures to his right leg after his car crashed off a highway in Los Angeles early on Tuesday morning.
Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and was immediately taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he underwent lengthy surgery to his right leg, which involved inserting a metal rod and pins to stabilise fractured shin and calf bones.
Woods, 45, was in California for a two-day filming with GOLFTV after serving as host for the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, and at the time of the accident was on his way to the second day’s filming.
The accident, which happened at 7.30am local time, did not involve any other cars. It is understood that his car crashed through the central reservation of a dual carriageway and crossed the opposite lane before rolling several times down a bank and ending up in scrubland on its side.
Woods was said to be ‘calm and lucid’ when medical teams and firefighters arrived. He had to be cut from the wreckage using specialist equipment.
Pictures that have emerged from the scene of the accident show the car, a Genesis GV80 SUV that had been loaned to Woods for the week, suffered major damage to the front end, and witnesses say that Woods was ‘lucky to be alive’ given the extent of the damage.
Woods underwent back surgery just two months ago – for the fifth time in his career – and was mid-way through his rehabilitation treatment in a bid to get back to competing again and potentially taking part in the Masters in April.
Anish Mahajan, the Chief Medical Officer at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center offered a detailed explanation of Woods’ injuries in the statement, which read: “Mr Woods suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by orthopedic trauma specialists. Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.”
A statement from the Tiger Woods Foundation read: “We thank everyone for the overwhelming support and messages during this tough time. As previously communicated, Tiger was involved in a single-car accident earlier this morning in California. He has undergone a long surgical procedure on his lower right leg and ankle after being brought to the hospital. He is currently awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room. Thank you to the wonderful doctors and hospital staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the fire department. Your support and assistance has been outstanding.”
The PGA Tour also released a statement shortly after news of the crash broke. It read: “We have been made aware of Tiger Woods’ car accident today. On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers.”