Tiger Woods has endured severe back and leg injuries during an illustrious career that includes 81 PGA Tour wins and 15 major titles, both of which are second all-time.
Therefore, he is one of the best people to ask about Golden State Warriors forward and 10-time All-Star Kevin Durant, who his team believes suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the NBA Finals on Monday, per Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
ESPN senior writer Ian O’Connor asked Woods about Durant and his perspective during a press conference in the lead-in to the U.S. Open:
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Take one to know one: @TigerWoods discusses Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury during his press conference at Pebble Beach for the #USOpen #Warriors https://t.co/tUa3mRCOIK
“It was sad. As athletes we’ve all been there to that spot where you just know it, that something just went, and can’t move, can’t do much of anything. And you can see it on his face, how solemn his face went. He knows it when things pop. “You just know. And I’ve been there. I’ve had it to my own Achilles. I’ve had it to my own back. I know what it feels like. It’s an awful feeling. And no one can help you. That’s the hard part. And whether he has a procedure going forward or not, or whatever it is, his offseason, what that entails, that’s the hardest part about it is the offseason or the rehab. “I mean, if he popped it, then that’s six to nine months of rehabbing. That’s what people don’t see, is all those long hours that really do suck. And why do we do it? Because we’re competitors. As athletes our job is to make the human body do something it was never meant to do and to do it efficiently and better than anyone else who is doing it at the same time. Well, things sometimes go awry. And we saw it last night with Kevin.“
Woods’ injuries limited him to 19 starts from 2014 to 2017, including just one from 2016 to 2017. He returned to make 18 starts in 2018 and won the 2019 Masters.
Woods also gutted out a 2008 U.S. Open win despite playing through a double stress fracture in his left tibia and a torn ACL. The feat was made all the more impressive considering he needed a 19-hole playoff to defeat Rocco Mediate, meaning he played 91 holes on those injuries.
That major win proved to be his last for 11 years, as injuries curtailed Woods’ career. However, his comeback stands as an excellent example for all athletes who are rehabbing injuries and looking to make their own returns to their respective sports.
Durant, unfortunately, will be on that list of competitors after a potential long recovery ahead.
The Warriors star, who suffered a strained right calf and missed the Dubs’ previous nine playoff games before his Monday return, averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the Western Conference champions this season.
Golden State must go through the rest of the NBA Finals without him. The Warriors, who are down 3-2 in the seven-game series, will host the Toronto Raptors on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.
Woods will be looking for his 16th major win and fourth U.S. Open championship this weekend at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He won the 2000 U.S. Open there by 15 strokes over the field thanks to a 12-under 272.