Woods has minor knee injury, will miss a few weeks

Tiger Woods has a minor injury to his left knee and Achilles’

tendon that will keep him out of the Wells Fargo Championship next

week, raising more questions that his health might be the biggest

obstacle in his chase of Jack Nicklaus’ record.

Woods said on his website Tuesday that he hurt himself hitting a

shot during the third round of the Masters. It’s the fourth time he

has missed a tournament because of his left knee. Woods did not say

when he might return, but he hopes to be back in a few weeks.

”This is precautionary. We’re not at all concerned,” said Mark

Steinberg, his agent at IMG. ”He’s just listening to his doctors,

which is kind of nice. He certainly didn’t listen to them before

the U.S. Open in 2008.”

Woods won that U.S. Open in a playoff for his 14th major. He

hasn’t won a major since then, leaving him four behind the record

18 professional majors won by Nicklaus.

Steinberg said Woods has been in a protective boot when he’s

moving around and has not hit a shot since the Masters. He said

Woods considered playing the Wells Fargo until Tuesday.

Woods won at Quail Hollow in 2007 and had not finished worse

than 11th in four appearances until a year ago when he missed the

cut with his highest 36-hole score.

The following week is The Players Championship, which Woods won

in 2001, although it is not among his favorite courses. He has

finished in the top 10 only four times in 13 appearances and

withdrew from the final round a year ago with a neck injury.

Steinberg said there was a ”reasonable chance” Woods will be

at The Players Championship.

”We’ll do the same next week, do an early to midweek test to

see if it’s good enough where he can be hitting the ball,” he


Woods described this injury as minor – a mild sprain of his

medial collateral ligament in the left knee, along with a mild

strain to his left Achilles. Woods said the injury occurred when he

had to squat to play a shot from under the Eisenhower tree left of

the 17th fairway.

His left foot got caught in the pine straw as the momentum of

the swing carried him backward. Woods hit into a front bunker and

saved par on his way to a 74, then shot 31 on the front nine Sunday

to tie for the lead. He wound up tied for fourth, and he appeared

to be limping coming to the 18th green.

Woods, who held a series of clinics in Asia the week after the

Masters, said he later sought a medical evaluation. He said doctors

have advised rest and cold-water therapy, along with soft tissue

treatment that is to begin this week.

”I personally contacted tournament officials and expressed my

regret in not being able to play,” Woods said. ”This is an

outstanding event, but I must follow doctors’ orders to get


Woods also missed Quail Hollow in 2006 when his father died and

in 2008 while recovering from knee surgery.

”Apologies to tourney & fans, but working hard to get

healthy,” he said on Twitter.

His health is becoming an issue with each year. Woods already

has had four operations on his left knee, dating to his freshman

year at Stanford to remove two benign tumors and scar issues. His

most recent surgery was after winning the U.S. Open in 2008, and he

wound up missing the next eight months after his left knee was


When he returned from a sex scandal last year at the Masters,

Woods revealed that he had ruptured the Achilles in his right leg

in December 2008, two months before he came back from the knee

surgery. Woods had a cortisone shot in his right ankle last


Woods, who has fallen to a No. 6 world ranking, has not won

since the Australian Masters in November 2009, the longest drought

of his career. Eleven majors have been played since he last won,

the longest he has gone without winning.

Nicklaus holds the record of 18 professional majors, a mark that

once looked to be easily within Woods’ reach.