Lucky to be alive, Woods faces difficult recovery

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a career filled with remarkable comebacks, Tiger Woods faces perhaps his toughest recovery of all.

The golf star was driving alone on a sweeping, downhill stretch of road through coastal Los Angeles suburbs when his SUV struck a raised median, crossed into oncoming lanes and flipped several times. The crash caused “significant” injuries to Woods’ right leg, and he underwent what was described as a “long surgical procedure” at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer, said Woods shattered bones in his lower leg in multiple places. Some of his fractures went through the skin and were stabilized by a rod, while screws and pins were used for his ankle and foot injuries.

A statement on Woods’ Twitter account said he was awake and recovering.

“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said Carlos Gonzalez, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was the first to arrive after a neighbor called 911.

Police said there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Wednesday on a Facebook livestream that it was “purely an accident” on a downhill section of road known for crashes.

Dr. Joseph Patterson, an orthopedic trauma surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, said injuries like Woods’ are among the most common seen in emergency rooms.

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