Tiger Woods’ road to recovery likely will be long and rough, but he’s not expected to face criminal charges for the rollover crash that shattered his right leg, authorities and medical experts said.
“We don’t contemplate any charges whatsoever in this crash,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a Facebook Live chat.
“This remains an accident. An accident is not a crime. They do happen, unfortunately,” he said.
Villanueva said Woods could eventually be cited for inattentive driving, but that would be an infraction, not a misdemeanor.
It all depends on the outcome of the investigation and whether deputies get search warrants to determine whether blood drawn at the hospital found anything in Woods’ system, or phone records show he was actively texting or talking around the time of the 7 a.m. crash on the border of Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates, he said.
“There was no evidence of any impairment,” Villanueva reiterated Wednesday.
It was shortly after midnight Eastern time on Wednesday that Woods’ Twitter account gave a stark account of the extent of his “significant orthopaedic injuries to his right lower extremity.”
“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,” the statement said, adding that Woods was “awake, responsive and recovering.”
“Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins,” it continued. “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.”
An orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan said the description posted online suggests the golf legend has a tough 12 months ahead of him.
“I think he’s probably in for a long recovery. Anytime somebody has this type of open fracture that’s comminuted and requires a fasciotomy to release pressure on the muscles, it signifies how much trauma there was to the limb. Usually that correlates to a longer recovery. It could take a year for Tiger to return to his prior function,” Dr. Jeremy Podolnick told the Daily News.