Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tiger talks about knee

During a conference call on Monday, Tiger Woods filled in some of the details about his knee problems that put a premature end to his 2008 season.

Woods said he still doesn’t know when he will return to competitive golf and won’t until he gets into his rehabilitation later this year. He said doctors have told him it could take between six and 12 months for him to fully recover.

Tiger said he’s had knee soreness the past 10 years because of the stress he puts on his knee in his swing. He said he’s worked to reduce the torque on the joint but the knee problems have been ongoing.

Woods said doctors told him when they removed a cyst from his knee in 2002 that his anterior cruciate ligament was more vulnerable to rupturing. To better support his knee, he worked hard on strengthening the muscles in his leg.

While running on a golf course last August, Woods said he took a slightly awkward step and felt his ACL rupture. “It didn’t take much,” he said. “Everyone was surprised it lasted as long as it did.”

He opted not to have reconstructive surgery at the time and focused on training to support his knee.

Woods said his knee “held up great” early in the year but became more unstable as the season went on. The natural rotation from his swing caused cartilage damage and his surgery after the Masters was intended to allow him to complete the 2008 season, then have reconstructive surgery.

He developed stress fractures, which caused him to miss The Memorial Tournament two weeks before the U.S. Open and the injury essentially shut down his practice time.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t walk to a cart. That’s not good when the cart is 10 feet away,” Woods said.

He couldn’t play more than nine holes in preparation for the Open and decided before the tournament that he would shut it down for the year after the championship, regardless of how he played. Of course, he won, proving that he can beat everyone else with just one good leg.

“It will be nice to finally have a healthy leg,” Woods said.