*We know a lot of folks are not going to believe what we are about to report, but one medical expert says Tiger Woods should be able to walk and even return to pro golf.
Even though Woods was rushed into emergency surgery Tuesday morning after sustaining multiple leg fractures and shattering his right ankle in a scary rollover car crash in Los Angeles, the prognosis for his recovery is positive … as far as Dr. Bill Mallon is concerned.
Let’s not fool ourselves, Woods’ road to recovery will undoubtedly be rough, to say the least, but one of the few people with experience both treating traumatic injuries and playing professional golf thinks the 45-year-old superstar will not only be capable of returning to the course but playing at an elite level.
“I think Tiger can play golf again,” is what Dr. Mallon — a PGA golfer turned orthopedic surgeon — told Insider on Wednesday.
“And assuming he plays golf again — meaning he doesn’t get an infection or severe arthritis in that ankle — I think he can return to the Tour,” Dr. Mallon added.
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Here’s more via Insider:
Woods’ camp announced on Twitter on Wednesday morning that the golfer suffered a slew of “significant orthopaedic injuries” to his right leg, including “comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones,” “additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle,” and “trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg.” So with the extent of the damage coming into scope, Insider asked Mallon to translate Woods’ diagnosis in layman’s terms.
Mallon spent four years competing on the PGA Tour and posted three top-10 finishes as a professional before leaving the links to pursue a career in medicine. A practicing orthopedic surgeon for roughly two decades, Mallon has since stepped away from the operating table to become editor of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, a leading publication in the orthopedics sphere.
“Tiger had an open fracture, which means that the bone came through the skin,” Mallon said. “Theoretically, that means that’s a contaminated fracture now because it’s not within the body’s tissue envelope. And when that occurs, the risk of infection is higher than on a closed fracture.”
“But the risk of infection is low,” he added. “I think the risk of infection for an open tibia fracture is down in the range of 1% to 2%. So it doesn’t happen very often, but it’s the thing we worry most about. And that’s the one thing that could really delay any recovery or prevent him from getting a full recovery.”
Here’s the bottom line according to Dr. Mallon: If Woods doesn’t face complications beyond his initial injuries, it should take the superstar golfer about three months to get back on his feet. Notice, we said three months to get back on his feet …. to start walking. If you’re wondering when he’ll be able to play professional golf again, that’s a whole different timeline. Getting back his golf game, however, requires a different timeline. Get the specifics on that at Insider.