Bethesda, Maryland:Tiger Woods does not know when he can play golf again, but he said on Monday his rebuilt left knee has been sore through his entire pro career and he looks forward to playing on two good legs.
"My left knee has been sore for 10 to 12 years," Woods said during a conference call for his AT&T National tournament, his first public comments since reconstructive surgery last Tuesday. "It will be nice to finally have a healthy leg. The doctors have assured me that my long-term health will be a hell of a lot better than it's been over the last decade. I'm really looking forward to that."
Woods said doctors used a tendon from his right hamstring to rebuild the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which he said had always been weak and finally snapped while jogging on a golf course last July.
He is in a brace and will be on crutches for three weeks to keep weight off his knee.
Woods said he most likely would not be able to attend the AT&T National, which starts Thursday at Congressional, because there was swelling on the flight home to Florida after surgery and doctors have advised him to avoid planes.
"But who knows?" he added. "I don't really listen to doctors all that well, anyway."
Woods said he had to use crutches for three weeks, followed by gradually putting weight on his knee, then flexing it.
"As far as longterm, I really don't know," he said. "We have to see how this thing heals. Everyone heals at a different rate. Some people are back to playing sports in six months, some are nine, some are 12. So to be honest with you, no one really knows until we start the rehab process."
Woods will miss his first major since turning pro at the British Open at Royal Birkdale, where he finished one shot out of a playoff in 1998. He also will miss the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, and the Ryder Cup.