Tiger Woods health update: Golf star says ‘the ankle’s good’ ahead of Hero World Challenge return after surgery

Tiger Woods has not been himself on the course for years. He began experiencing back pain in 2010, but it never became debilitating until 2014. He underwent surgery in April of that year for a pinched nerve and hoped to make a speedy recovery.

The following year, he had one of his worst seasons to date, not making the cut in three out of four majors. Woods did not play a single professional golf tournament in 2015 and 2016 due to rehabilitation from more back surgeries.

He made the return to the sport in 2018 and fell into a rhythm. But in February of 2021, a car accident delayed his game once again. He sustained serious leg injuries that continue to hamper him. 

Now, Woods is ready to get back to the game after surgery in April repaired lingering pain in his ankle. 

MORE: Resist urge to bet on Tiger Woods in return at Hero World Challenge

Here’s everything you need to know about Woods’s health heading into the Hero World Challenge.

Tiger Woods health update

In the spring, Woods underwent subtalar fusion surgery to fix the talus fracture in his ankle, an issue that first came up following the car crash, as well as the plantar fasciitis.

The surgery was a success. Woods said he no longer has the same pain that caused him to withdraw from the Masters this year. While his foot is sore in other areas because of taking the “brunt of the load,” he’s good to go.

“My game feels rusty, I haven’t played in a while,” Woods said at a news conference. “I’m excited to compete and play and I’m just as curious as all of you are to see what happens because I haven’t done it in a while.”

Despite hosting the Hero World Challenge, a tournament that benefits his foundation, the golfer hasn’t competed at the event since 2019 when he finished fourth. Woods was planning on playing last year but pulled out of the competition at the last minute. 

He says caddying and helping his son, Charlie, prepare for his own golf tournament encouraged recovery day-by-day.

“I think the timing of the event with the injuries that I’ve had and I think just the way the event has been with the smaller field size, the fact that it’s at the end of the year which sets me up for expectations going into the following year, it’s a nice landing spot,” Woods said.

Tiger Woods upcoming schedule

If everything goes well in the Bahamas and at the PNC Championship in two weeks, where he is set to play alongside Charlie again, Woods hopes to play fairly often next year.

“I think the best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month,” Woods said. “I think that’s realistic whether that’s — you would have to start with maybe a Genesis and then something in March, near the Players. Again, we have set up right now the biggest events are one per month. It sets itself up for that. Now, I need to get myself ready for all that, and I think this week is a big step in that direction.”

Here’s what Woods’ schedule could look like in 2024.

Dates Tournament
Dec. 14-17 PNC Championship
Feb. 15 – 18 The Genesis Invitational
March 14 – 17 The Players Championship
April 11 – 14 Masters Tournament
May 16 – 19 PGA Championship
June 13 -16 U.S. Open
July 18 – 21 The Open Championship
Aug. 29 – Sept. 1 Tour Championship

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