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Will Tiger Woods Golf Again After Accident? Experts Weigh In
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Tiger Woods will not be facing any charges over his severe accident on Tuesday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva answered questions from the media on the L.A. County's Sheriff's Department Facebook, where he was asked if the 45-year-old pro golfer would face reckless driving charges.
"No…This is purely an accident," Sheriff Villanueva said. "We do not contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash. This remains an accident. An accident is not a crime."
"He was lucid, no odor of alcohol, no evidence of any medication, narcotics, or anything like that, that would bring that into question," he said, adding that there was no failed sobriety test. "This is what it is, an accident."
Sheriff Villanueva explained that as an accident, there could have been "any type of distraction," explaining that the road Woods was on "has had quite a few accidents." He shared that there have been 13 accidents since last January on the same stretch of road Woods crashed.
"If you're not paying attention, you can see what happens," he noted, adding that they do not know what Woods' speed was at the time of the crash. The road has a 45 mph speed limit.
Woods was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Tuesday, which took place at the border of Rolling Hills Estates and Rancho Palos Verdes in California. He has since been hospitalized with what law enforcement have described as "non-life-threatening injuries." During a press conference, officials shared that he sustained "serious injuries to both legs" and his ankle after he hit a tree and his car did several rollovers. He was wearing a seat belt. Officials suspect speed was a factor in his accident.
"Mr. Woods suffered significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopaedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center," Anish Mahajan, MD, Chief Medical Officer & Interim CEO at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said in a statement.
"Comminuted open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones were stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia. Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins," Mahajan added. "Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical release of the covering of the muscles to relieve pressure due to swelling."
According to Woods' team, he's currently awake, responsive, and recovering in his hospital room.
ET spoke with Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neil Ghodadra about the type of injuries Woods was treated for, and he explained how the golfer's recovery is complicated by his multiple previous surgeries to he knees.
"Once the rod and the screws and the pins have been put in you're looking at about six to eight weeks for the bone to heal," Ghodadra explained, adding that a proper recover is "all about the rehab."
So the big question becomes, will Woods ever be able to play golf professionally again?
"If the fractures heal, which they should, I do expect him to fully recover and come back and play," Ghodadra said.
Meanwhile, with regards to the accident itself, professional crash investigator Tim Leggett told ET that, given the type of vehicle Woods was driving, it likely won't be long before authorities have a more complete picture with regards to what happened.
"That Hyundai is equipped with a black box," Leggett said of Woods' SUV, a Genesis GV80. "We will find out exactly what was going on and how fast the vehicle was going."
Gonzalez said that Woods was able to say his name when asked and "seemed calm."
"He didn't seem like he was in distress, and he was able to talk to me a little bit," Gonzalez said. "I kept him talking. I asked him basic things to gauge his mental state like, 'Do you know where you are right now? Do you know what day it is?' Just to see if he was aware of what had occurred."
"I don't think he was aware of how gravely he was injured at the time," he shared. "It could have been a mixture of adrenaline. It could have been shock. Again, it was very quick that I arrived from the moment that he rolled over, so I don't know if he had time to fully assess his injuries."