When Tiger Woods was asked Tuesday if he had seen Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant’s injury the night before, Woods dropped his head and nodded.
The 43-year-old golfer, with his own injury-filled past, can relate to what Durant must have felt as he fell to the floor Monday night during Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with an apparent right Achilles injury.
“It was sad. As athletes we've all been there to that spot when you just know it, that something just went, and can't move, can't do much of anything,” Woods said. “And you can see it on his face, how solemn his face went. He knows it when things pop. You just know.”
Durant had not played since May 8 after injuring his calf in the Western Conference semifinals. On the right wing Monday, Durant dribbled between his legs as he cut left toward the top of the key. Then, he came up lame, dropped down and needed help to get back to the locker room.
The Warriors scheduled an MRI for Tuesday to determine the severity.
Golfer Tiger Woods, left, and Golden State Warriors star Kevin Druant (Photo: USA TODAY Sports)
Woods opted to battle through an injured left knee during his 2008 U.S. Open win, and he needed to undergo surgery to repair his ACL eight days after the tournament at Torrey Pines. Woods has also dealt with pinched nerves and back spasms — leading him to withdraw after 13 holes in the final round at The Honda Classic in 2013 — and had four back surgeries in a little over two years.
“I've been there,” Woods said. “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.”
Woods is scheduled to tee off in the first round of the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Thursday at 5:09 p.m. ET with Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose. He’s as healthy as he’s been in a long time. But Woods knows the recovery process that accompanies severe injuries, having been down those roads before.
If Durant tore his Achilles, it not only ends this season but puts his 2019-20 season in some doubt as he rehabs.
“That's what people don't see, is all those long hours that really do suck,” Woods said. “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 anybody who is doing it at the same time. Well, sometimes things go awry. And we saw it last night with Kevin.”
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