Tiger Woods will miss next week’s Wells Fargo Championship due to left-knee and Achilles tendon injuries he announced Tuesday on his website.
According to the announcement, Woods suffered “a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot” during the third round of the Masters.
Woods tied for fourth at Augusta National but was later evaluated by doctors who advised him to rest the injuries and undergo cold-water therapy as well as soft tissue treatment later this week.
“I personally contacted (Quail Hollow) tournament officials and expressed my regret in not being able to play,' Woods said. 'This is an outstanding event, but I must follow doctors' orders to get better.”
The release said Woods “hopes to be back in a few weeks” and his next likely start would be The Players Championship May 12-15. If he were to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event it would be another hit for so-called “fifth major,” which is already missing Nos. 1 (Lee Westwood) and 7 (Rory McIlroy) from the field.
Woods won at Quail Hollow in 2007 but missed the cut there last year in his first regular-season event following a high-profile scandal that led to his divorce.
“Tiger did call me and said he was very sorry he couldn’t be here and explained what happened. He loves Charlotte, he just couldn’t be here,” said Kym Hougham, Quail Hollow’s tournament director. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. He was defending champion in 2008 and had his first knee surgery and couldn’t be here. We’d love to have him, but I understand.”
The medial collateral ligament sprain is to the same knee that Woods had surgery on twice in 2008, first after the Masters and then following his U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines.
“He has a propensity for knee sprains, but the Achilles (injury) is a concern,” said Randy Myers, the director of fitness at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort who works with numerous Tour players. “How do you rebuild your stamina on an injured leg?”
Recovery from the type of injuries Woods said he sustained while hitting his second shot from under the Eisenhower Tree on Augusta National’s 17th hole typically takes from two to three weeks, Myers said.
“The Achilles is a severe injury because your entire body is now out of alignment,” said Myers, whose client Brandt Snedeker won last week’s Heritage following off-season hip surgery. “With the knee injury he knows what to do, he knows what it takes. But the Achilles can very easily be re-injured.”
The announcement adds to an expanding list of injuries for Woods. Along with the knee surgeries in 2008 he withdrew from last year’s Players Championship with a previously undisclosed neck ailment.