Looking back at Tiger Woods' injury history - NBC Chicago

Timeline: Tiger Woods’ injury history recap originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers in history, but things have not always been smooth sailing throughout his career.

Woods, 46, announced on Tuesday that he would do so “effective immediately.” participate in the 2022 Masters tournament, which begins on Thursday with the opening round. That comes nearly 14 months after he sustained serious injuries in a car accident.

Woods is no stranger to injuries having struggled with many throughout his career. Recent injuries, which included broken bones in both legs, nearly ended his career.

Here is a summary of Woods’ long injury history:


In 1994, while Woods was a physical education student at Stanford, he had two benign tumors and scar tissue removed from his left knee. Woods entered his first Masters tournament just months later in April 1995, finishing 41st as a 19-year-old amateur.


After years of good health (and incredible success on the pitch), Woods suffered a brief setback in 2002. In December, he underwent off-season surgery to remove fluid inside and outside his cruciate ligament. He also had benign cysts removed from his left knee. The young star missed a few tournaments early in 2003, but returned to win three of his first four events. He didn’t win any major tournaments in 2003, the first year since 1998 that he won 0-4.


Woods’ real injury problems began in 2007. In August of that year, he ruptured his cruciate ligament while running after the British Open. He worked through the injury and won five of his last six tournaments to wrap up the season. Woods ended the year by winning the PGA Championship for his 13th major championship.


Woods decided against surgery for his 2007 knee injury, but he paid the price in 2008. He won three tournaments in a row to start the year, but had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery after finishing runner-up at the Masters. A month later, doctors said he had two stress fractures in his left tibia.

In June, two months after his surgery and still in significant pain from his shin splint injury, he won the US Open – his last major win in 11 years. Woods eventually underwent surgery to repair his left ACL after the tournament and missed eight months of competition.

Months later in December, Woods tore his Achilles tendon while jogging. He played through the injury in 2009 and aggravated the tear several times.


Woods withdrew from the Players Championship in May because of a neck injury that was later revealed to be an inflamed facet joint.


Knee and Achilles tendon injuries dominated Woods’ 2011 season. In April, he strained his left hamstring while hitting a pitch at the Masters. Despite the injury, he was tied for fourth. The following month, Woods again withdrew from the Players Championship after spraining the MCL in his left knee. The combination of injuries forced him to sit out two months.


Woods bounced back over the next two years, winning eight tournaments. He retired from the Cadillac Championship in March 2012 due to Achilles tightness. In June 2013, he missed two tournaments due to a strained elbow. Later in August 2013 at The Barclays he sprained his back which caused him to fall to his knees in pain.


After two years of relative health, Woods’ fortunes took a turn for the worse. Back spasms forced him to withdraw from the 2014 Honda Classic, Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational and Masters Tournament. He returned briefly in the summer months but missed the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with back pain.

In 2015, Woods’ back injuries continued. He retired from the Farmers Insurance Open in February before returning to the Masters in April. He missed the cut in three out of four majors in 2015 before undergoing two microdiscectomy surgeries on his back in September. Just a month later, he had another back operation that was supposed to ease his discomfort. Woods did not return to golf for 16 months after surgery.


Woods underwent a fourth back surgery in April 2017, and it was a success. He only played in one tournament in 2016 and 2017 before appearing in 18 events in 2018.


A neck strain forced Woods out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. However, the injury didn’t hinder him at the 2019 Masters, which he won for his first major championship since 2008.


Woods had a fifth back operation, another microdiscectomy, in December 2020 to remove a bone fragment that was pinching a nerve.

The most recent and most significant injury occurred on February 23, 2021. Woods’ car was traveling 80 mph alone in an SUV in California, overturning and locking him in before emergency responders arrived. He suffered compound fractures in both legs before having surgery. Woods was in serious but stable condition after the crash, but his golfing career was clearly in jeopardy.

It’s unlikely Woods will ever return to the Tour full-time, but counting him down after all the injuries he’s survived is foolish.