TIGER Woods “may never get his mobility back” and narrowly avoided having his leg amputated after the crash, a doctor has said.
Doctors said Woods suffered “comminuted” fractures in the upper and lower parts of the tibia and fibula – meaning the breaks had led to bone splintering.
They fitted metal rods, screws and pins to his shattered right shinbone and calf bone following the crash.
He was this morning said to be “awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room” as footage of him emerged behind the wheel which was filmed just before the crash.
However, NBC News senior medical correspondent Dr. John Torres told TODAY on Wednesday that the road to recovery is not looking easy.
“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.”
Torres also insisted that leg injuries are “a true [emergency],” because “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.”
“So what surgeons do is they go in and basically release that pressure by opening up the muscle, exposing it to the outside so that it has a way to relieve the pressure, and that lets the circulation flow, that lets the nerve not be damaged.”
The doctor then warned: “The big concern was amputation because if he doesn’t get that done quickly, and by quickly, I mean within an hour or so, he could be looking at an amputation of that leg.”
A leading golf coach, Pete Cowen, told the Mirror that he predicts Woods is in for a long recovery.
“The main [thing] is that he’s alive but he’s 45 and he’s going to have an 18-month rehab I would say,” said Cowen.
“A lot of people who have compound fractures don’t get the use of their legs back that well. You can definitely adapt but this a tough one.
“There’s not only the playing of the shots but the walking. Five miles up hill and dale – God knows what that will be like for him.”
He had emergency surgery last night after firefighters had to cut him from wreckage at an accident hotspot in Rancho Palos Verdes shortly after 7.15am on Tuesday.
Woods reportedly hit a raised central reservation at “speed”, smashed through a street sign, hit a tree and then flipped a $50,000 Genesis GV80 SUV several times.
The 15-time major winner cheated death as the life-saving airbags deployed in his Geneis courtesy car after it careered off the road at high speed and flipped several times just after 7am, LA officials said.
It has been reported he was running around 30 minutes late to meet Drew Brees and Justin Herbert for a lesson and photoshoot at the time.
One source said when Woods entered his car to get away, he had to wait as another car blocked his while it loaded luggage.
Once the car moved, Woods “took off fast”, say the reports.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, one crew member said staffers were left shaken after Woods nearly hit the car being driven by the show’s director as he dashed away
“He really did nearly hit the director’s car, too, when he left this morning, which shook us up because of Tiger crashing his car before”, the source added.
They added: “it’s just a coincidence” that Woods was staying at the Terranea in Rancho Palos Verdes along with the Freeform show’s crew, as he “isn’t part of the production at all.”
“When we arrived here yesterday some of the guys were talking about Tiger staying here, too, and they were quite excited about it.”
Upon hearing that minutes after their encounter with Woods, the star athlete had been involved in a severe crash, the staffer said the whole set was affected.
“We’re upset by what’s happened,” they said. “Tiger’s surgery sounds major from what we’ve heard.”