LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods (pictured) suffered serious injuries to both legs as his car flew off the road and flipped several times Tuesday near Los Angeles in a crash he was “very fortunate” to survive, law enforcement officials who found the US golf legend said.
Woods underwent surgery to repair “significant orthopaedic injuries” to his lower right leg and ankle, which included the insertion of a rod into his tibia and the use of “a combination of screws and pins” to stabilise his foot and ankle, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center chief medical officer Anish Mahajan said in a statement released on the golfer’s Twitter account late Tuesday.
“He is currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room,” the Twitter statement read, adding there would be no further updates, and thanking first responders and well-wishers.
Woods did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the early-morning incident, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
No other vehicles or passengers were involved in the crash, which occurred on a steep stretch of road known as an accident “hotspot”, where Woods was travelling at “a greater speed than normal,” said the sheriff.
“I will say that it’s very fortunate that Woods was able to come out of this alive,” said deputy Carlos Gonzalez, the first officer to arrive at the scene.
Gonzalez found Woods trapped in his vehicle but conscious, appearing “calm and lucid” and able to identify himself to the deputy as “Tiger”.
“It is my understanding that he had serious injuries to both legs,” said Los Angeles County fire chief Daryl Osby, describing Woods’ condition as “stable”.
Firefighters and paramedics extricated Woods from the wreckage of his SUV and transported him with a neck collar and backboard to a local hospital via road.
The 45-year-old, one of the most successful golfers of all time, has won 15 major championships.
He recently underwent his fifth back surgery, and said he was uncertain if he would be able to complete his latest injury comeback in time to play at April’s Masters.
“On behalf of the PGA Tour and our players, Tiger is in our prayers and will have our full support as he recovers,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement.