Tiger Woods has 'no recollection' of crash that nearly killed him and may possibly end his illustrious career
Police have revealed that Tiger Woods has no memory of the deadly crash that almost killed him and could potentially end his golfing career. The 45-year-old links legend was rescued Tuesday from the wreckage of a luxury SUV that he was driving and rushed to a nearby hospital in Los Angeles. Woods was reportedly on his way to a nearby country club to give golf lessons and pose for photos with a pair of NFL quarterbacks that morning.
The LA County Sheriff said last night that Woods was lucid after the accident but had “no recollection of the crash itself” when quizzed by investigators. Meanwhile, he also had no idea of the extent of injuries he had sustained during the crash.
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According to Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the crash was “purely an accident." He told CNN: “He was not drunk. Definitely, we can throw that one out. There was no evidence of any impairment. We don’t contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash. This remains an accident.” Villanueva added that the “speed involved” and the “driver’s inattention” were possible reasons for the crash. However, he said the "black box" from the vehicle would need to be examined to determine what exactly caused the crash.
Speaking to CNN, LA county Sheriff's Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who responded to the scene, said that the seat belt around Woods may have saved his life. "I do think the fact that he was wearing a seat belt and that the vehicle safety features worked as designed by the manufacturer likely resulted in either reducing his injury or saving his life," he explained.
One doctor said Woods had narrowly avoided having his leg amputated after the crash and that he "may never get his mobility back."
Woods suffered "comminuted" fractures in the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula, leading to bone splintering. Surgeons fixed his shattered right shinbone and calf bone with metal rods, screws, and pins following the crash.
Dr. Scott Boden, Woods' orthopedic surgeon, said he had sustained a "very high energy fracture." He told CNBC: "We know that because it was an open fracture, meaning that the bone penetrated the skin, at least temporarily, and that it was broken in multiple places, that this was a very high energy fracture, and that makes it a little bit more difficult to heal."
Woods was "awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room" yesterday, but NBC News senior medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told Today on Wednesday that it will be a long and difficult path to recovery for the ace golfer. "He has around six weeks of recovery just from the fractures," the doctor said. "If he had to get that ankle fused, or if he had any big procedures done to that ankle that are going to limit mobility, that's going to take longer to recover. He truly might never get back that mobility he had before," he said, "which could definitely impact the way he plays."
Describing his leg injuries as "a true [emergency]," Torres explained the "pressure starts building up because of swelling in that part of the leg, and it builds up to such a high point, it cuts off circulation, and it causes nerve damage if it's not taken care of quickly."
Last month, Woods underwent a fifth surgery on his fused back. On Sunday, he admitted he wasn't sure he would be fit to aim at a sixth Masters title in April. However, that is definitely not going to happen now with his current predicament.