Tiger Woods looked exhausted in a TV interview just two days before he shattered his ankle and fractured his leg in the horror rollover crash.
The golfer, 45, sparked concern among viewers as he spoke to CBS Sports on Sunday about potentially playing in the Masters after undergoing his fifth back surgery in December.
He said he was ‘hopeful’ he could appear at Augusta, just 48 hours before the wreck on Tuesday that has put his playing career in jeopardy.
Woods is now ‘awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room’ after extensive surgery to place pins and screws in his shattered right leg.
Speaking to CBS Sports host Jim Nantz on Sunday, Woods was asked about his recovery and if he could compete in the first major of the year in April.
He said: ‘God I hope so, I’ve got to get there first.
Tiger Woods looked exhausted in a TV interview days before his horror crash on Tuesday in which he shattered his ankle and fractured his leg
‘A lot of it is based on my surgeons, my doctors, my therapists, and making sure that I do it correctly because this is the only back I’ve got, so I don’t know how much wiggle room we’ve left here.’
Nantz then asked Woods if he intended to play a tournament before the Masters.
The 15-time major champion replied: ‘I don’t know what the plan is.
‘The plan is to just go and get an MRI scan and to see if we are healed and then we can start progressing.’
His interview at the time raised concerns among fans and fellow golfers about Woods’ state of mind.
One tweeted: ‘Tiger Woods looked absolutely fried in that interview just now.
‘Bloated, dull looking face and sounded like he was speaking through a muffler. Honestly reckon this last surgery could be the end for him.’
The golfer, 45, sparked concern among viewers as he spoke to CBS Sports on Sunday about the upcoming Masters
Another wrote: ‘Tiger looked so fed up right there.’
On Monday, Woods gave golf lessons to celebrities including comedian David Spade and former NBA star Dwayne Wade at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Los Angeles.
The stars both shared images with a smiling Woods on social media in which they thanked him for the day out.
The sportsman crashed on Tuesday while driving from the five-star Terranea Resort to the Rolling Hills Country Club where he was due to take part in filming for GolfTV.
On Monday, Woods gave golf lessons to celebrities including comedian former NBA star Dwayne Wade
Woods also played a round with comedian David Spade at the Rolling Hills Country Club on Monday
He was put under general anesthetic at Harbor-UCLA hospital as surgeons fitted metal rods, screws and pins to his shattered right shinbone and calf bone following the crash.
Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer at the hospital, said Woods suffered comminuted open fractures of his tibia and fibula – where the bone splinters into two or more pieces and comes through the skin – and had a rod inserted in his tibia, with his foot and ankle ‘stabilized with a combination of screws and pins’.
Muscles surrounding the bones were cut to relieve swelling, Mahajan said, describing the injuries as ‘significant’.
Revealed: Horrific injuries Tiger Woods suffered in horror car crash forcing surgeons to piece his right leg back together using rods and screws – so will he ever play golf again?
Surgeons say the 45-year-old suffered ‘comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones’ in the crash – meaning his shin and calf bones splintered into more than two pieces each and were left sticking through the skin.
Woods also sustained ‘additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle’, his doctors said, which had to be stabilized with screws and pins.
The leg itself is being held together with a metal rod that was inserted into his tibia bone, the doctors added, along with metal pins to hold everything in place.
Membranes around his muscles were also cut to help ease severe swelling caused by the impact. Anish Mahajan, who is overseeing Woods’ care, described the injuries as ‘serious’ and was unable to say if he will play golf again.
Tiger Woods has shattered the bones in his lower right leg and damaged his ankle and foot in a horror car crash in LA, forcing surgeons to insert a metal rod, pins and screws to hold the limb together
Police said the golfer was ‘lucky to be alive’ after he hit a raised central reservation while driving at high speed, smashed through a wooden street sign, splintered a tree, and then rolled his car several times
A straight line cut across the windscreen showed where first responders had sliced open the car to free Woods
TIGER WOODS CRASH
7am: Tiger leaves Terranea Resort looking agitated
7.05am: Road cameras pick him up driving within the speed limit
7.12am: Tiger crashes on Hawthorne Blv
7.30am: Time he was due to be at golf club
Woods – one of the most successful golfers of all time and arguably one of the greatest sportsmen in any discipline – has a long history of injuries, and overcoming them has become something of a trademark.
But this recovery will be his greatest challenge yet and has left some questioning not only his sporting future, but whether he will be able to pick up a club even as an amateur.
Woods history of injuries dates back to at least 2008 when he famously claimed victory at the US Open despite playing with two stress fractures and a torn ligament in his left leg, which required surgery the day after his win.
Continuing problems with his leg and damage to his elbow forced him to take several breaks from golf over the next few years, until he began suffering back problems in August 2013.
While Woods played through the pain for months, he eventually ruled himself out of The Masters in 2014 – the first time in his career that he had missed the tournament – so he could have surgery on a trapped nerve.
Tiger Woods’ team issued a statement on Twitter around 9:30pm local time in California on Tuesday night
Despite the operation, Woods’ problems persisted and in September the following year he went for more surgery – followed rapidly by another operation in October which left him facing a ‘long and tedious’ recovery.
In April the following year he underwent yet more surgery to fuse two vertebrae in his spine together which left him on painkillers which eventually led to him being found slumped over the wheel of his car.
Overcoming doubts that he would ever be able to swing a club again, Woods battled to return to professional golf and made his first appearance at the Hero World Challenge in December 2018.
Against all the odds, he then went on to win his 15th major title at The Masters the following April in one of the greatest comebacks in sport.
But his injury problems persisted, and in August he had to undergo surgery to repair damage to his elbow. In March 2020 he was forced to sit out the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship with back issues.
In December last year he quietly underwent another procedure on his back, which was announced to the public in January this year.
Breaking the news to fans, Woods did not set a timetable for his return to golf and was still recovering from the surgery at the time of his latest accident.
‘As if his body hasn’t endured enough,’ Jon Rahm, the No. 2 player in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Florida on Tuesday after learning of the crash.
‘I just hope he can get out of the hospital after recovery and he can still play with his kids and have a normal life.’
TIGER WOOD’S INJURIES OVER THE YEARS
April 2008 – Woods takes two months off to recover after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee, and to allow two stress fractures in his left tibia to heal
June – Battling through his leg pain, Woods claims victory at the US Open before having surgery to repair a torn ACL and more cartilage damage, which forced him to take nine months off
May 2010 – Woods withdraws from the Players Championship after suffering neck pain which turned out to be an inflamed facet joint that kept him off the course for a few weeks
April 2011 – He withdraws from the Wells Fargo Championship as a ‘precaution’ after suffering pain in his left leg
May – A sprained medial collateral ligament and strained Achilles tendon in his left leg force Woods to take three months off
March 2012 – Woods withdraws from the WGC-Cadillac Championship with a problem in his left Achilles tendon
June 2013 – A elbow strain forces Woods to take several weeks off
August – A series of back spasms leave Woods hunched on all fours during his final round of The Barclays
March 2014 – Woods withdraws during the Honda Classic and pulls out of the Arnold Palmer Classic after his back problems resurface
April – For the first time in his career, Woods says he won’t feature at the Masters after having surgery for a pinched nerve in his back
August – Woods is evidently in pain while playing at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, and takes a fouth-month break
February 2015 – Woods withdraws from the Farmers Insurance Open with back problems, and takes a two-month break
September – Following back surgery, Woods rules himself out of competitions for the remainder of the year
October – Woods returns to surgery for his back, and says he is expecting a ‘long and tedious’ recovery
April 2017 – The athlete undergoes a fourth surgery on his back, this time to remove a damaged disc. A month later he is arrested for DUI after ‘suffering a reaction to prescription medications’ including painkillers
December – Woods makes his professional comeback at the Hero World Challenge
March 2019 – Neck pain forces Woods to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational
April – Woods claims an historic 15th major title after victory at The Masters
August – Surgery to repair damage cartilage in his left knee forces him out for two months
March 2020 – Woods sits out the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship with back problems
December – A fifth surgery on his back forces Woods to take some time off. He does not set a timetable for return to golf, and was still recovering at the time of his crash this week