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Tiger Woods recovery update: Latest news on golfer after car crash

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Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy said it best ahead of the 2021 Masters Tournament: “Any time Tiger Woods tees it up in a golf tournament, it’s better.”

Unfortunately for his fellow PGA Tour golfers and fans, Woods will not be able to participate in this year’s Masters — or any other events for the foreseeable future — as he continues to recover from injuries he sustained in a February car crash. His absence will certainly be felt at Augusta National.

“He said it’s kind of starting to set in,” Justin Thomas said after speaking to Woods. “He’s bummed he’s not here playing practice rounds with us, and we hate it, too.”

When will golf’s biggest star be ready to hit the links again? Well, he’s got a long road to recovery.

MORE: Masters tee times, TV coverage, live stream and more

Tiger Woods recovery update

Woods announced on March 16 that he had returned to his Florida home after undergoing surgery and treatment at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California. He did not offer a recovery timeline, only noting that he is focused on “getting stronger every day.”

His full statement:

Happy to report that I am back home and continuing my recovery. I am so grateful for the outpouring of support and encouragement that I have received over the past few weeks. Thank you to the incredible surgeons, doctors, nurses and staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. You have all taken such great care of me and I cannot thank you enough. I will be recovering at home and working on getting stronger every day.

What are Tiger Woods’ injuries from car crash?

Dr. Anish Mahajan, the chief medical officer and interim CEO of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, described Woods’ injuries in a statement posted from Woods’ official Twitter account on Feb. 24:

Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level-1 trauma center. Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling.

What is a comminuted open fracture?

A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone is “broken into pieces, which may require surgery for complete healing.” An open fracture, also known as a compound fracture, occurs when the broken bone has pierced through the skin. 

Dr. Joseph Patterson, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that there is a high risk of infection for patients dealing with open fractures.

“Tissue can be exposed to bacteria, dirt and clothing,” Patterson said. “The outcomes can be a lot worse if that tissue gets infected.”

Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith faced that exact problem after suffering a compound fracture in his right leg in 2018. His recovery was complicated by a bacterial infection after his initial surgery. At one point, medical professionals spoke with Smith about the possibility of amputating his leg.

Eventually, after several surgeries and a rigorous rehab process, Smith was able to complete a “miracle” comeback by returning to the field in 2020.

Will Tiger Woods play golf again?

It’s simply too early to know whether Woods will be able to rejoin the PGA Tour in the future. Woods is likely looking at many months of recovery time based on the information currently available, but it’s difficult to formulate an exact timeline.

“Can he come back from this? It’s unclear at this point,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told USA Today. “We don’t know. But it’s going to be a long rehab period and it’s going to be painful. We can assume that he’s going to go through bumps and twists and turns.

“It’s really unclear. But at least he has life right now.”

Cause of Tiger Woods car crash revealed

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters at an April 7 news conference that Woods’ crash was caused solely by excessive speed. No traffic citations will be issued.

“The primary causal factor for this traffic collision was driving at a speed unsafe for the road conditions and the inability to negotiate the curve of the roadway,” Villanueva said (via The Associated Press).

Woods was driving 84 to 87 mph down a stretch of road that had a speed limit of 45 mph, and he hit a tree while going 75 mph, Villanueva said. There was no evidence that Woods tried to brake, and investigators believe Woods may have accidentally put his foot down on the accelerator instead of the brake pedal. Authorities have said there was no evidence of impairment or distracted driving.

In a statement posted from his Twitter account after the news conference, Woods said that he was aware the investigation had concluded.

In the last few days, I received word from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department that their investigation regarding my traffic accident back on February 23rd in Los Angeles has been completed and closed. I am so grateful to both of the good samaritans who came to assist me and called 911. I am also thankful to the LASD Deputies and LA Firefighter/Paramedics, especially LA Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez and LAFD Engine Co. 106 Fire Paramedics Smith and Gimenez, for helping me so expertly at the scene and getting me safely to the hospital. I will continue to focus on my recovery and family, and thank everyone for the overwhelming support and encouragement I’ve received throughout this very difficult time.


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As MLS season opens with Columbus Crew chasing rare repeat, league must seize chance to take next step forward

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The teams that won the two biggest trophies in Major League Soccer will open their seasons Sunday evening on national television. This is a big deal to the teams involved. It probably ought to be a bigger deal to the league in general.

The Philadelphia Union won the Supporters’ Shield at the close of the COVID-truncated 2020 season, compiling 47 points from 23 games. It was the first major trophy ever won by the club, but the celebration was shortened by its first-round playoff loss to New England.

The Union had to watch three weeks later as Columbus Crew SC won the league’s most coveted honor, MLS Cup champions, on a cold Saturday night at Crew Stadium.

“We’re not unique in that we want the ultimate prize, which is MLS Cup,” Union coach Jim Curtin told Sporting News. “We’re disappointed that our season ended on our home field against New England last year. … It’s always devastating when the year ends. But I think that also motivates us.

“We were able to lift the Supporters’ Shield, get a taste for our young players and our experienced guys of what that feels like. For some of them it was their very first trophy. And that’s a taste and a feeling that you want to have again and again and again over your career. There’s a lot of great teams in MLS this season. The league continues to get better and better. It’s exciting times for the fans now, as they slowly get back into the stadiums.”

MORE: If all MLS owners were like Matthew McConaughey, everyone would be a fan

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald, this is the first time that the Supporters’ Shield winner and MLS Cup champion opened the subsequent regular season against one another. This is probably something the league would be wise to turn into a tradition. It is important enough that FS1 will show the game.

The 26th MLS season opens Friday with a Houston Dynamo-San Jose Earthquakes game (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and one matching the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United (9:30, FS1).

As MLS continues to try to grow among U.S. professional sports leagues, though, and in the broader soccer landscape, it continues to suffer from a sort of identity issue. Not a crisis, but perhaps a conundrum. It is covered less as a sports competition than the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL. This is partly the result of too few league teams being covered daily by major media outlets and so much of the conversation about the league being driven at a national level.

As commissioner Don Garber took the time Monday to speak with reporters about the 2021 season, the primary focus was on the introduction of another new team, Austin FC, and the eventual openings of new stadiums in Cincinnati and Columbus. The comment he made that generated the most reaction involved a player who’s currently competing in England, Darryl Dike.

On loan with Barnsley in England’s Championship division, Dike could return to Orlando City FC or be sold during the summer transfer window.

“That’s a $20 million player,” Garber told reporters.

“Really the story of Major League Soccer today is about youth,” he said. “We are now at the youngest we’ve ever been on average, in the history of the league. We’re investing deeply in developing players, with academies in every particular market. And now you have to have programs that could provide opportunities for young players to be able to perform at their highest, develop at their youngest and ultimately build a professional career.”

Those covering MLS generally express the view that it’s positive for the league to produce such players as Dike, Tyler Adams (now with RB Leipzig in German) and Brendan Aaronson (who started 23 games for and scored four goals for the Union last season and then moved to RB Salzburg in Austria).

It probably is best for the U.S. men’s national team to have players developing and competing on multiple fronts. It surely is an advantage to have young players developing in professional academies in the way more established soccer nations have for decades. And that’s part of why there is such a focus on MLS’ advancement as what some would term a “selling league.”

To gain greater traction in the U.S. sports marketplace, though, it needs to be viewed as, foremost, a league. Fans need to care about its race, standings, playoffs and champion as much as about how much one of its young stars might command in transfer fees.

That’s an area where the Crew could be of considerable use to the league this season. With star player Lucas Zelarayan injured for part of last year, they finished third in the East Division. But his return to health allowed them to surge through the playoffs and defeat the favored Seattle Sounders 3-0 in the MLS Cup final. The organization kept most of the lineup intact and deepened the roster by signing forward Bradley Wright-Phillips, who ranks sixth on the league’s career goal scoring list.

Columbus’ pursuit of a second consecutive championship could return the focus of the league to the field. Winning two in a row isn’t easy, as Bruce Arena is the only coach who’s done it twice — 1996 and 1997 with DC United, 2011 and 2012 with the Los Angeles Galaxy. And that’s part of what makes it compelling.

“Last year was an odd year. I give the Crew all the credit for winning the MLS Cup, as I give credit to Philadelphia for winning the Supporters’ Shield. But I think it’s going to be a lot different this year,” Arena said. “Columbus certainly has a good team, and I’m sure they anticipate competing throughout the year for not only Supporters’ Shield but also to return in MLS Cup.

“I think it’s probably more difficult with the more teams. This year, also, the schedule is different now. Now we’re playing conference schedules as opposed to playing everyone in the league. The league is certainly, probably, as competitive as it has been. It certainly will be a challenging year for anyone trying to win the MLS Cup.”


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Michael Jordan to present Kobe Bryant at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

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The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Thursday revealed the presenters for the 2020 enshrinees.

Most notably, Michael Jordan — a 2009 inductee into the Naismith Hall of Fame — will present the late Kobe Bryant, who was the closest to emulating Jordan’s style and success on the court and whom Jordan considered to be a little brother. Jordan also spoke at Bryant’s memorial service in February 2020, showing the extent of their relationship.

MORE: ‘The Last Dance’ footage shows how young Kobe Bryant quickly earned respect of Michael Jordan

Bryant often peppered Jordan with questions about his game and preparation, much to the latter’s chagrin. But Bryant’s drive to succeed — coupled with his natural ability — revealed itself to Jordan, who took it on himself to help Bryant where he could. Their relationship began in the 1998 All-Star Game, where a 19-year-old Bryant forced Jordan to push himself. It eventually got to the point where Jordan considered Kobe the only player capable of beating him one-one-one.

“I don’t think I would lose,” Jordan said. “Other than to Kobe Bryant, because he steals all of my moves.”

Jordan will also present fellow 2020 inductee Kim Mulkey, coach of the Baylor women’s basketball team — making him the only person to present two inductees into the 2020 Hall of Fame class.

The 2020 induction ceremony will take place on May 15 after it was rescheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a complete rundown of the 2020 enshrinees and their respective presenters:

  • Patrick Baumann, presented by Russ Granik (’13), Vlade Divac (’19)
  • Kobe Bryant, presented by Michael Jordan (’09)
  • Tamika Catchings, presented by Alonzo Mourning (’14), Dawn Staley (’13)
  • Tim Duncan, presented by David Robinson (’09)
  • Kevin Garnett, presented by Isiah Thomas (’00)
  • Kim Mulkey, presented by Michael Jordan (’09)
  • Barbara Stevens, presented by Geno Auriemma (’06), Muffet McGraw (’17)
  • Eddie Sutton, presented by John Calipari (’15), Bill Self (’17), Sidney Moncrief (’19
  • Rudy Tomjanovich, presented by Calvin Murphy (’93), Hakeem Olajuwon (’08)


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Braves’ Ronald Acuña Jr. nails fan’s beer with pinpoint accuracy

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Nachos, beer … no fan’s concession items are safe inside MLB parks.

The latest such example came from Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.; video shows him nailing a fan’s beer at a game earlier this week — at the behest of the fan, of course.

MORE: Justin Turner destroys, then replaces fan’s nachos

And another angle:

It’s uncertain which game this was, but it took place at Truist Park in Atlanta. The cheapest beer there goes for $5, with the most expensive at $12 — well worth the price for a ball from Acuña, who’s playing some of the best ball in MLB right now: He leads MLB in hits (23) and home runs (seven) and is third in batting average at .442.


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