Tiger Woods will miss the annual Masters Tournament, one of professional golf’s four major championships, due to a back surgery for a pinched nerve. This will be the first time in two decades that the world’s number one player will miss the event.
The famed golfer had a microdiscectomy on Monday in Park City in Utah, and announced that he needed to have soft-tissue treatment and intensive rehabilitation. He is hoping to return to competition this summer.
However, it is unclear whether he will be well enough to join the US Open in June and the Open Championship in July. Stephania Bell, ESPN’s injury analyst, estimates that it will take 4 ½ months for Woods to recover.
Woods experienced back spasms last fall, and reappeared a month ago at the Honda Classic. He had to withdraw during the last round. The following week, the pain reappeared at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
The pain resurfaced at his training for the Masters as well, and he decided to have the surgery.
The golfer expressed his disappointment over not being able to join the Masters. According to him, he may also have to miss other competitions to focus on rehabilitation and improving his health.
Sad to say I’m missing the Masters. Thanks to the fans for so many kind wishes. http://t.co/Ofbre9VHEL
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 1, 2014
Woods has played the Masters since 1995. He won his first Masters in 1997, winning again in 2001, 2002, and 2005.
Masters chairman Billy Payne sent his best wishes to Woods, and is looking forward to the golfer’s healthy return.
The golfer remains hopeful for the future. He hopes to break the records of Sam Snead and Jack Nicklaus, who Woods admires. He needs to win four more majors to break Nicklaus’s record of 18 major titles.
Dr. Robert Watkins, who has treated athletes with spinal conditions, released a study that revealed that 90 percent of athletes were able to return to playing their sport.
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