Tiger Woods says he is pain-free when it comes to his right ankle that was fused in April. It’s the rest of leg that remains a work in progress.
And there’s no indication when he’ll get back to work on the golf course.
“My ankle is fine. Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever,” Woods said Tuesday. “That pain is completely gone. It’s the other areas that have been compensated for.”
He compared it with when he had fusion surgery on his lower back. He said the L5 and S1 vertebrae were fine.
“But all the surrounding areas is where I had all my problems, and I still do,” he said. “So you fix one, others have to become more hypermobile to get around it, and it can lead to some issues.”
Of course, it doesn’t take much for Woods to get everybody’s attention about when he might play again.
Two years ago, he posted a video of one swing and two words — “Making progress” — that eventually led to him playing the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie, just 10 months after his car crash outside of Los Angeles.
This time all he did was walk.
Woods caddied for his son at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship, and video footage showed him walking and carrying the bag. This was a week after Stewart Cink said in a Golf Channel interview that Woods told him he had starting practicing.
Practicing for what remains to be seen.
“I’m pretty sore after caddying for four days,” Woods said. “It was a flat course, thank God.”
Woods announced 19 players for the 20-man field at his Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas the week after Thanksgiving. Because it is sanctioned by the PGA Tour, that would require 72 holes of walking. Still, one spot remains open and the tournament host is exempt.
More likely is the PNC Championship, which Woods and 14-year-old Charlie have played the past two years. That is sanctioned by the PGA Tour Champions, meaning carts are allowed. Woods has used a cart both times.
Woods hasn’t played since he withdrew at the Masters after the frigid third round. He had surgery on his right ankle two weeks later for arthritis that developed from his car crash.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.