Just days after winning the U.S. Open, Tiger Woods on Wednesday announced he will have season-ending knee surgery to repair a torn ligament.
In a statement on his Web site, Woods said he will miss the rest of the golf season to take care of an injury that has plagued him since July but did not prevent his winning nine of 12 tournaments.
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"Doctors assure Woods that long-term prognosis is very good," the statement says.
"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy," Woods said.
Woods also said he suffered a double stress fracture of his left tibia while preparing to return to the tour last month, which forced him to miss the Memorial Tournament and was the source of his pain at Torrey Pines Golf Course when he won the U.S. Open this past weekend.
Doctors have told him, however, that the stress fractures will heal with time.
"The stress fractures that were discovered just prior to the tournament unfortunately prevented me from participating and had a huge impact on the timing for my return. I was determined though, to do everything and anything in my power to play in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, which is a course that is close to where I grew up and holds many special memories for me," he said.
"Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee," Woods said.
The surgery is the next step in trying to remedy injuries that began in 2007.
Woods ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a run at his Orlando home following the Open championship last year. The golfer opted to put off surgery, playing through the nagging pain yet still winning five of the next six events in which he played.
Despite taking a break in the fall to recuperate for the 2008 season, Woods in January was in pain and on April 15 had arthroscopic surgery to fix cartilage damage, which had developed as a result of the ACL injury.
Woods last was seen in public Monday afternoon walking with a pronounced limp across Torrey Pines toward the parking lot.
He will miss a major championship for the first time in his career — next month's British Open — and will not be available for the Ryder Cup in September.
"Tiger is an enormous attraction; there's no denying that," Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal & Ancient, told The Associated Press. "But The Open championship has had many exciting finishes, which Tiger has not been part of, and I'm sure there'll be more."
"It's very sad. We're very sorry that he's succumbed to the injury and that he won't be competing in the Open. We hope he has the speediest possible recovery. We understand the most important thing is that he has to get his health right first."
A date for the surgery had not been set.
"I would like to thank my fans and partners for their continual support and can assure everyone that I will be as dedicated to rehabilitating my knee as I am in all other aspects of my career," Woods said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.