ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — When the game’s best comes to Oak Hill Country Club to compete in the 2023 PGA Championship, Tiger Woods will be sitting at home watching.
On Tuesday, Woods announced on Twitter that he underwent a subtalar fusion procedure to address his post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture.
Dr. Michael Maloney, the Chief of Sports Medicine at URMC, confirmed that the injury and surgery will cause him to miss the next month’s PGA Championship.
“The pain that’s associated with walking and uneven ground and for him playing golf, they’re trying to alleviate that by fusing the bones together,” said Maloney. “And when you do that, the bones have to heal together and that it’s going to take three or four months worth of time. And then you got to kind of go through the rehab process afterward.”
Woods made the cut at the Masters earlier this month but was in visible pain walking around on Friday and Saturday and eventually withdrew after struggling later in the day on Saturday.
Tuesday’s surgery should alleviate some of those problems, but it could make playing professional golf more difficult.
“The whole point of doing the fusion is if those joints are now not able to move, the pain should kind of go away. So hopefully he’ll be able to walk more comfortably,” said Maloney. “Now the downside of the fusion is he’ll lose motion in his foot. And in particular, it’s the motion that allows the foot to kind of rotate back and forth. So though he may be more comfortable with walking and have more endurance, the golf swing may still be a challenge for him long term.”
Maloney said there is also a concern that fixing this problem could cause his issues to move up to his knee.
“He’s been through so much. He’s overcome so much. It’s remarkable what he’s done already,” said Maloney. “But I think he’s got a road ahead of him as far as healing and then the rehab and then figuring out his golf swing and then can he be competitive to the level that he wants and needs to be professionally.”