Tiger Woods’ participation in the Masters is a testament to modern medicine, doctor says

Woods' rehab is impressive, says Dr. Kirk Campbell, calling his play at Augusta "a testament to his drive and dedication."

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Golf legend Tiger Woods returned to the Masters course in Augusta, Georgia, last week for the first time since the devastating car accident in February 2021 that almost cost him his right leg, a deed that’s thrilled fans of his circumstances on the green and off of it.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic that he’s been able to come back,” orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kirk Campbell, MD, a sports health expert at NYU Langone Health, told People magazine. “He had a very, very severe injury to that right lower high extremity, multiple surgeries, very tough rehab. This just goes to show his will and determination to kind of rehab from such a terrible injury. Just looking at him play yesterday [Thursday], I was thoroughly impressed.”

Tiger Woods plays his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club Sunday in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The tournament was Woods’ first time returning to the competition in more than 500 days.

He played well during the first few days. However, according to The Associated Press, Woods ended the tournament at the 18th hole with a 13-over 301 — his worst Masters performance as a professional by eight strokes.

“This tournament has meant so much to me and my family,” Woods said, according to AP. “This is where all the great champions have ever played. They have walked these grounds.”

”I don’t think people really understand,” he added. “The people who are close to me understand. They’ve seen it. Some of the players who are close to me have seen it and have seen some of the pictures and the things that I have had to endure. They appreciate it probably more than anyone else because they know what it takes to do this out here at this level.”

Dr. Campbell counts himself among them.

“I think it’s just simply amazing he’s out there,” he told People. “And from an orthopedic standpoint, he’s a testament to modern medicine. From a fan standpoint, it’s a testament to his drive and dedication. It’s pretty inspiring.”

Woods has won the PGA’s Masters Tournament a historic five times, the most recent being three years ago. He says his next focus is on continued rehabilitation.

“We’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger, which we haven’t been able to do because it needed more time to heal,” he said. ”I think it needs a couple more days to heal after this, but we’ll get back after it.”

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