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Tiger Woods says leg injuries keeping him out of British Open

July 05, 2011|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
  • Tiger Woods speaks to the media during a press conference before the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club on June 28, 2011 in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Tiger Woods speaks to the media during a press conference before the AT&T… (Hunter Martin / Getty Images )

Tiger Woods is skipping the British Open next week to fully heal from injuries to his left leg, according to the star athlete.

Woods is suffering from injuries to his knee and Achilles tendon. He sat out the AT&T Nationals last week for the same reason.

"I am only going to come back when I'm 100% ready," the pro golfer said in a written statement. "I do not want to risk further injury. That's different for me, but I'm being smarter this time."

Smarter, indeed. A 2010 study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that high-strain tendons (like the Achilles heel) tend to repair more slowly. That's troubling, given that one of the three most common foot or ankle injuries is an Achilles tendon rupture, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Also in that paper: Sports-related foot and ankle injuries have been on the rise in recent years, but the injuries are often minimized and labeled a 'sprain.' This could mean that athletes are playing even more frequently on  injured joints.   

And, as I blogged last week, golf is particularly hard on existing knee injuries -- the force on the knees in downswing is about the same as the force on the knees of a runner who suddenly turns 90 degrees to the left or right. 

No bones (or tendons) about it -- Woods' decision is a wise one.

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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