Tiger gets another surgery, could be out past December

By Alex Butler  |  April 20, 2017 at 4:32 PM
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April 20 (UPI) -- Dr. Richard Guyer of the Texas Back Institute performed Tiger Woods' fourth back surgery Thursday. He is expected to miss at least six months of action.

Woods, 41, announced the news on his official website. He underwent the "successful" surgery to alleviate ongoing pain in his back and leg, according to a statement on his official website.

"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said.

"When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."

"Due to previous herniations and three surgeries, Woods' bottom lower-back disc severely narrowed, causing sciatica and severe back and leg pain," the statement said. "Conservative therapy, which included rehabilitation, medications, limiting activities and injections, failed as a permanent solution, and Woods opted to have surgery. The procedure was a minimally invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion [MIS ALIF] at L5/S1. The surgery entailed removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels. This allows the one vertebrae to heal to the other. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing."

"After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed," Guyer said. "Once that's accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf."

Woods will rest for a few weeks before beginning therapy and treatment.

"I would like to thank all the fans for staying in touch and their kind wishes," Woods said. "The support I have received has never waned, and it really helps."

Woods will again miss The Players Championship, U.S. Open, The Open Championship, PGA Championship, among other tournaments. He is ranked No. 788 in the Official World Golf Rankings. He finished the 2016 season ranked No. 652. Woods has 79 career PGA Tour wins and 12 international victories. He has 14 additional tournament wins.

He could be targeting the Oct. 2 Safeway Open or December's Hero World Challenge for a possible return.

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