Back in February, the legendary golfer Tiger Woods was in a major car crash that left him requiring surgery on his legs. In his first interview since this happened, the 45 year-old athlete is opening up about how “painful” his recovery has been.
Woods told Golf Digest that he is focusing on physical therapy in the hopes of being able to move on his own again.
“I do my routines every day and am focused on my No. 1 goal right now: walking on my own,” Woods said. “Taking it one step at a time.”
“This has been an entirely different animal,” he added of his injuries. “I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.”
Woods was driving downhill on the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in Southern California on the morning of February 23 when his car struck a sign in the center divider, cut through a tree and landed alongside the road.
The golfer “suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center,” according to Anish Mahajan, MD, chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, who released a statement after the crash.
He added that Woods specifically suffered “comminuted open fractures,” which means his tibia and fibula bones, the two main bones in the leg, had shattered and broken through the skin, requiring immediate surgery, along with smaller injuries to the ankle and foot.
In his new interview, Woods thanked his fans for the “incredible” support they have given him.
“I have had so much support from people both inside and outside of golf, which means so much to me and has helped tremendously,” he said.
When asked in the interview if he planned to play golf again professionally, Woods declined to answer.
Before his victory at the Players Championship in March, Justin Thomas talked about some encouraging texts he’s gotten from Woods.
“I’m happy and I hope he’s happy, and I always appreciate his help,” Thomas said. “If you would have told us when we were 15, 20 years old that Tiger Woods was texting us the night before we have a chance to win the tournament trying to inspire us, that’s pretty cool.”