Doctor Woods Injury Shouldnt Hurt Career

By Associated PressJune 19, 2008, 4:00 pm
PGA TourDoctors who treat the kinds of knee and leg injuries that ended Tiger Woods victorious season have one word for his U.S. Open victory' remarkable.
 
The fact that he had surgery two months ago and seemed to visibly be in pain with certain shots I find it remarkable that he could play as well as he did and win a major tournament, said Dr. David McAllister, a UCLA sports medicine specialist.
 
Still, theres no reason to think it will be Woods last'despite needing surgery to repair a ruptured left knee ligament and treatment for a double stress fracture in the same legs shinbone, experts said Thursday.
 
But even if Woods returns to playing championship-level golf next year, as expected, his prospects further down the road are uncertain. The repeated wear and tear on his knee, including an operation that will be his third in five years, could result in early arthritis that might eventually slow down his career, said Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph, the Chicago White Sox team physician and an orthopedic surgeon at Rush University Medical Center.
 
Given his natural ability and athletic talent, I think his chances are excellent. He should be able to get back and compete at the same level. How well he holds up long-term over the next five to 10 years, thats whats in doubt, Bush-Joseph said.
 
Woods, 32, announced Wednesday that he will have surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament he ruptured last year while running. It will sideline him for the rest of this seasons PGA Tour and likely will require up to nine months of recovery, experts said.
 
He also revealed he needs time off to recover from stress fractures discovered after his April surgery to clean out cartilage damage from the ACL injury.
 
The ligament is a band of fibrous tissue at the center of the knee that helps stabilize the joint. When the ACL is injured, cartilage, the knees natural shock-absorber, can tear, said knee specialist Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and consultant to the Philadelphia 76ers.
 
Reconstructive ACL surgery typically involves replacing the damaged ligament with a piece of tendon taken from another part of the patients knee. Ligaments from cadaver donors also are sometimes used. Surgeons generally make a small cut below the knee, insert a narrow tube and thread the tendon or graft up the tube and position it into the knee joint.
 
Woods decision not to have surgery last year when he first injured the ACL wasnt necessarily misguided, doctors said.
 
The initial rupture likely was extremely painful, but soreness and swelling typically subside. McAllister said he has treated older, amateur golfers who opted not to have surgery for ACL injuries and continued playing without any problems.
 
But when swelling and pain recur, it suggests the knee is unstable and probably at risk for damage to cartilage, McAllister said.
 
DiNubile said delaying surgery might have worsened the damage, but having the surgery would have ruined Woods season and his thrilling U.S. Open win on Monday would never have happened.
 
Added Dr. Riley Williams, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York: One could say he had a mixed result. He obviously made millions of dollars and had seven or eight more wins on tour. So its hard to argue with his decision.
 
But ultimately'as Im sure his doctor told him'that knee problem is going to win, Williams said.
 
Woods doctors said his intense rehabilitation after his April cartilage operation and preparing for the Open likely caused the stress fractures.
 
For right-handed golfers like Woods, the left knee takes the brunt of stress from the swing. But the high speed and torque of Woods well-known violent swing puts even more stress on that left knee, said Dr. Sherwin Ho, a University of Chicago sports medicine expert. Ho said that could have contributed to the stress fractures and other damage.
 
Stress fractures are cracks in bones typically caused by overuse. They can be mild or pretty serious, depending on the location, McAllister said. Treatment includes rest, avoiding the activity that caused the fractures, or surgery in severe cases.
 
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    Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

    Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

    While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.


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    “It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

    Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

    “I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”

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    Rory tired of the near-misses, determined to close

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:46 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Rory McIlroy has returned to the Travelers Championship with an eye on bumping up his winning percentage.

    McIlroy stormed from the back of the pack to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but that remains his lone worldwide win since the 2016 Tour Championship. It speaks to McIlroy’s considerable ability and lofty expectations that, even with a number of other high finishes this season, he is left unsatisfied.

    “I feel like I’ve had five realistic chances to win this year, and I’ve been able to close out one of them. That’s a bit disappointing, I guess,” McIlroy said. “But at least I’ve given myself five chances to win golf tournaments, which is much more than I did last year.”


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    The most memorable of McIlroy’s near-misses is likely the Masters, when he played alongside Patrick Reed in Sunday’s final group but struggled en route to a T-5 finish. But more frustrating in the Ulsterman’s eyes were his runner-up at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, when he led by two shots with eight holes to go, and a second-place showing behind Francesco Molinari at the BMW PGA Championship in May.

    “There’s been some good golf in there,” he said. “I feel like I let Dubai and Wentworth get away a little bit.”

    He’ll have a chance to rectify that trend this week at TPC River Highlands, where he finished T-17 last year in his tournament debut and liked the course and the tournament enough to keep it on his schedule. It comes on the heels of a missed cut at the U.S. Open, when he was 10 over through 11 holes and never got on track. McIlroy views that result as more of an aberration during a season in which he has had plenty of chances to contend on the weekend.

    “I didn’t necessarily play that badly last week. I feel like if I play similarly this week, I might have a good chance to win,” McIlroy said. “I think when you play in conditions like that, it magnifies parts of your game that maybe don’t stack up quite as good as the rest of your game, and it magnified a couple of things for me that I worked on over the weekend.”

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    Sunday run at Shinnecock gave Reed even more confidence

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:08 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – While many big names are just coming around to the notion that the Travelers Championship is worth adding to the schedule, Patrick Reed has been making TPC River Highlands one of his favorite haunts for years.

    Reed will make his seventh straight appearance outside Hartford, where he tied for fifth last year and was T-11 the year before that. He is eager to get back to the grind after a stressful week at the U.S. Open, both because of his past success here and because it will offer him a chance to build on a near-miss at Shinnecock Hills.

    Reed started the final round three shots off the lead, but he quickly stormed toward the top of the leaderboard and became one of Brooks Koepka’s chief threats after birdies on five of his first seven holes. Reed couldn’t maintain the momentum in the middle of the round, carding three subsequent bogeys, and ultimately tied for fourth.


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    It was a bittersweet result, but Reed is focusing on the positives after taking a couple days to reflect.

    “If you would have told me that I had a chance to win coming down Sunday, I would have been pleased,” Reed said. “I felt like I just made too many careless mistakes towards the end, and because of that, you’re not going to win at any major making careless mistakes, especially on Sunday.”

    Reed broke through for his first major title at the Masters, and he has now finished fourth or better in three straight majors dating back to a runner-up at the PGA last summer. With another chance to add to that record next month in Scotland, he hopes to carry the energy from last week’s close call into this week’s event on a course where he feels right at home.

    “It just gives me confidence, more than anything,” Reed said. “Of course I would have loved to have closed it out and win, but it was a great week all in all, and there’s a lot of stuff I can take from it moving forward. That’s how I’m looking at it.”

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    Koepka back to work, looking to add to trophy collection

    By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 8:53 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – Days after ensuring the U.S. Open trophy remained in his possession for another year, Brooks Koepka went back to work.

    Koepka flew home to Florida after successfully defending his title at Shinnecock Hills, celebrating the victory Monday night with Dustin Johnson, Paulina Gretzky, swing coach Claude Harmon III and a handful of close friends. But he didn’t fully unwind because of a decision to honor his commitment to the Travelers Championship, becoming the first player to tee it up the week after a U.S. Open win since Justin Rose in 2013.

    Koepka withdrew from the Travelers pro-am, but he flew north to Connecticut on Wednesday and arrived to TPC River Highlands around 3 p.m., quickly heading to the driving range to get in a light practice session.

    “It still hasn’t sunk in, to be honest with you,” Koepka said. “I’m still focused on this week. It was just like, ‘All right, if I can get through this week, then I’m going to be hanging with my buddies next week.’ I know then maybe it’ll sink in, and I’ll get to reflect on it a little bit more.”


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    Koepka’s plans next week with friends in Boston meant this week’s event outside Hartford made logistical sense. But he was also motivated to play this week because, plainly, he hasn’t had that many playing opportunities this year after missing nearly four months with a wrist injury.

    “I’ve had so many months at home being on the couch. I don’t need to spend any more time on the couch,” Koepka said. “As far as skipping, it never crossed my mind.”

    Koepka’s legacy was undoubtedly bolstered by his win at Shinnecock, as he became the first player in nearly 30 years to successfully defend a U.S. Open title. But he has only one other PGA Tour win to his credit, that being the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open, and his goal for the rest of the season is to make 2018 his first year with multiple trophies on the mantle.

    “If you’re out here for more than probably 15 events, it gives you a little better chance to win a couple times. Being on the sidelines isn’t fun,” Koepka said. “Keep doing what we’re doing and just try to win multiple times every year. I feel like I have the talent. I just never did it for whatever reason. Always felt like we ran into a buzzsaw. So just keep plugging away.”