The "Dr. Oz Show" host weighed in on the 45-year-old pro golfer's toughness in an interview on Wednesday, stressing that while the acclaimed athlete faces "complicating factors" due to his comminuted fractures, it's his mental strength that will carry him through.
"Let's be clear about this, he's had a bunch of surgeries and bounced back when no one thought he could. He had the luck of having his accident near a major trauma center with expertise in this area. I know teams that were trained there so I have great confidence in the fact that they manage this correctly. Despite the complicating factors of a comminuted fracture, which means it was broken in multiple spots, an open fracture, which means there was a cut in the skin that either the bone protruded through or was close, and the fact that it probably crossed the joint to affect his ankles, so his ability to flex may be altered, he still has the most important component to recovery which is mental resilience," Dr. Oz told TMZ.
"This man can do what no one else can do so with the strength of his mind I do think he'll be back and I think he'll come back to full speed," he added.
Dr. Anish Mahajan, chief medical officer and interim chief executive of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, outlined Woods’ "significant injuries to his right lower extremity" in a statement that was posted to the golfer’s Twitter account Wednesday.
Mahajan said Woods suffered "open fractures affecting both the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones" that had to be stabilized by inserting a rod in his tibia. He added that additional bone injuries to his foot and ankle were "stabilized with a combination of screws and pins."
Dr. Oz estimated Woods' recovery will take about a year.
"Medically speaking, I think it's at least six months until his bone is recovered to the original form. Then the muscles will atrophy around it," he shared. "Give him a year. Allow him to recover from the emotional, physical trauma of this procedure. I'll bet on Tiger Woods every time."
Woods hasn't played golf since the PNC Challenge with his son Charlie in December. He had an operation on his back on Dec. 23. This latest setback doesn't necessarily mean his career is over, Oz said.
"I mean, frankly, with Tiger Woods, if you put him with a peg leg he'd probably still be a champion. I think the ability of modern medicine and the marvels I'm witnessing day in and day out, especially orthopedic surgery and getting the right care initially, all are critical," he said.
Oz also noted that Woods had some luck on his side.
"Thank goodness he didn't have major internal injuries or head injuries which speaks to the power of a seatbelt. So as a lucky man, right time right place in some ways, I do think he'll make a full recovery," the famed physician concluded.