Stevel Elling at CBS Sportsline says that Tiger’s knee may never get any better. People with multiple knee surgeries (such as Mrs. Golfblogger) will tell you that it’s never quite the same. Its all good after one, but two or three is a different story.
The most telling line for Elling:
This is the verbatim exchange I had with the guy after his 2-over 73 on Sunday, when he limped so much at times on the front nine, he had to dose up with meds to get through the day.
Q: You’ve been pretty forthcoming about the knee thing all week, so let me throw this one at you: Is what you’re experiencing right now residual soreness from the surgery or is this the way it’s going to be, forever and ever?
Woods: “It’s different.”
Q. What does that mean? You don’t know the answer?
Woods: “I know.”
That was it. He wouldn’t budge, prompting many in the room to believe that if this were only a temporary issue, he would say it. Moreover, when his longtime manager, Mark Steinberg, was asked Sunday whether the knee issue could linger for the remainder of Woods’ career, he actually shrugged.
“I don’t know,” Steinberg said.
I’ve been saying for years—and writing in this blog—that I don’t think Tiger will continue to play full time as much as I—we, the PGA Tour—might like. He’s only 32, but he’s an OLD 32 in golf terms. Think about it: he’s been playing competitive golf since he was in grade school. If you mark his full time golf from his first Junior World championship, he’s in his 24th year as a full time golfer. And the way Earl drove him, you can’t think of him as anything other than a full time golfer as a kid.
In contrast, Nicklaus wasn’t playing a full 18 until he was 13 years old. And while he hit the ball a long ways, he was in no way, shape or form hitting the ball like Woods.
Add to that the unprecedented torque that Woods puts on his body, and you’ve got a recipe for an early break down.
Just as an aside: if the knee hurts as much as it seems to, what the heck is he doing playing in the US Open. Pain is an indication that things are not quite right. In his stubborness is he risking further injury? I hope not.