Orthopedic Surgeon: Woods’ Intact Left Ankle Improves Prospects for Return to Golf

Tiger Woods Hero World Challenge
Tiger Woods hits a shot during the final round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany GC on December 2, 2018 in Nassau, Bahamas. Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

As we’ve reported, Tiger Woods sustained serious injuries to his right ankle and leg in a single-person car crash near Los Angeles on Tuesday morning.

While much of the analysis thus far has leaned towards declaring the era of Tiger Woods over, Dr. Bill Mallon, a former PGA Tour professional, turned orthopedic surgeon, thinks the superstar will be able to golf again, and eventually return to the PGA Tour.

“I think Tiger can play golf again,” Dr. Mallon told the website Insider.com on Wednesday.

“And assuming he plays golf again — meaning he doesn’t get an infection or severe arthritis in that ankle — I think he can return to the Tour.”

The 69-year old Mallon, who won two Massachusetts Amateur titles before turning pro in 1975, said Woods would have faced a much more difficult road ahead if he’d injured his left ankle as opposed to his right.

As Mallon noted, the left ankle is where the torque takes place within the golf swing, particularly during the downswing and follow-through.

“Your left ankle takes a lot more stress in a golf swing than your right ankle does,” said Mallon, who posted three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in the mid 70s, with a T5 at the 1977 Joe Garagiola-Tucson Open his best result.

“I’m not saying your right ankle doesn’t take some stress, but not nearly as much as the left ankle does. The left ankle absolutely needs more flexibility than the right ankle.

“He’s better off having injured his right ankle than his left.

“And, yeah, if he’d injured his left, he would have had more trouble getting back the flexibility in the ankle.”

At minimum, Mallon believes Woods will most certainly recapture the quality of life he enjoyed before Tuesday’s crash, and would “be fine playing with his kids.”

Read the full story at Insider.com.


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